Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why Do Atheists Have Funerals? – Emilio Ramos

If we are simply the product, of chance and matter, why cry at a funeral weeping as if we are any different from the ants we kill with our feet, the beautiful intricate insects we crush on our windshields when we drive, or rats we kill with our mouse traps from Wal-Mart? If man has no essential transcendent worth, than why do we weep and hurt as if we do? The Christian has an answer for that. Does the atheist?

Why don’t we weep every time we kill that which, in the atheist’s mind, is equal to human beings? For example: cows every time we have a burger, plants every time we have a salad, air every time we breath - as we kill millions of microbes every day?

If we show up at the atheist’s funeral having lost a loved one why should we not ask out loud, “Why are you weeping?? I thought man is no different from the grasshopper I killed on my windshield on the why over here?”

Funerals have a universal transcendent quality about them, they tend to speak loud and clear about the essential worth of human beings. To illustrate this consider the following tale, Joe the atheist has a funeral to attend - it is his mother’s. You see, Joe has been raised in a Christian home his whole life, having gone to college and heard some things about coming from primordial soup that developed over millions and millions of years resulting in the primates that are now called humans.

Joe came to his mother one day with the unsettling news that contrary to his parent’s constant tutelage, Joe has come to the conclusion that there is no God. Joe has learned many valuable lessons from his mother and her presupposed worldview that there is a God without which she would have been incapable of teaching Joe anything meaningful about the basic make up of life and experience. Joe’s mother suffers a terrible wreck and dies. Joe has to go to the funeral and face some very fundamental questions. Is my mother truly valuable? If not, than why am I crying? If so, where does she derive the type of worth that has me sobbing all over my suit? Did evolution give her such worth? Did the fact that she was a good mother? If that is indeed the fact, then I must admit that her biblical worldview shaped her into the type of mother that I now value.

What’s the answer to all these questions? I know the scientific answers: she is a primate, nothing more than a primate like an ape, or a lizard, or a toad. But if I was raised by a pack of wolves, and my mother wolf died, would I go on for hours and days of remorse such as I find myself in now? I know that I am not willing to agree to what my mother believed, that all human’s are created in the image of God and have great and intrinsic worth. I know that I will not except that there are such things as absolute laws of morality, logic, and meaning but then why can’t I explain the death of my mother other than meaningfully if there is no ultimate meaning or dignity or purpose to life?

Joe has a very basic choice to make. He must either operate within the principles of the biblical worldview in order to assign the type of meaning to the death of his mother that he knows and even at this point feels to be true, or he must suppress those notions in search of other explanations.

One thing is for sure: his evolutionary, materialist, chance universe is not providing the type of solace that funerals demand. In fact, when sharing your faith with an atheist, the Christian should go on to argue that Joe’s worldview has not and cannot provide him with the ‘preconditions for intelligibility’. In other words, Joe’s worldview cannot be lived out consistently because it does not make sense out of life, death, and experience.

Sadly, even though the unbeliever is incapable of providing rational argumentation to substantiate their own worldview, they do tend to think they know for sure that Christianity is not true. Interesting.

Emilio Ramos is a preaching pastor of Sovereign Joy Community Church. He and his wife Trisha live in Dallas/Fort Worth.

44 comments:

ExPatMatt said...

If I respond to this garbage, will anybody listen?


Seriously.

Brian Westley said...

No ExPatMatt, he's one of those religious people who dehumanize atheists and considers them subhuman.

Debunkey Monkey said...

This is what's called a "strawman argument." Believe it or not, atheists tend not to be sociopaths and show empathy and love toward those around them.

Jason & Vanessa said...

Ya'll are missing the point,... He is trying to hold you to your worldview and asking you to be consistent with it.

@Debunkey Monkey we acknowledge atheist show empathy and love, but given their world view, why should they? That is the point of this post. Try reading it again. He is not saying "YOU ARE THESE THINGS" but rather, if you are consistent with your worldview then that is how you OUGHT to act.

ExPatMatt said...

Ok, thanks for the heads-up Brian.

DM, you said in 26 words what I was planning to say in 26 paragraphs; bravo!

fisherwoman said...

Funerals are very humbling. They are a way of limiting man's arrogance. The soul that sins, it shall die. Amazing that God, who made us in His image, chooses to communicate with us through language to display Himself, using imagery such as God's hands, His eyes, His heart...and yet as the Bible says, we do not honor God as God nor give thanks to Him, but our thinking became futile, and we turned to worship what we ought not. (Rom. 1: 18-36)Essentially we say, "God-you cannot be trusted." We bought the lie from the enemy of God who will soon crush Satan under the believer's feet! Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Deut. 32: 39 See now that I, even I, am he,

and there is no God beside me;

iI kill and I make alive;

jI wound and I heal;

and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Ezekiel 18: 31:Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”

emram said...

Brian, It is actually evolution that teaches what you probably mean by 'subhuman' remember. Actually Darwin even taught this in Origin of Species when he spoke about 'inferior races'. We are only primates like every other 'non-human' species out there. This proves my post, what is the difference, I know how to answer that as a Christian, but how does the atheist assign dignity and value to being a human? If this is a 'strawman' simply explain human dignity?

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

If I told you that to hold true to your, Christian, worldview you should go around slapping babies and kicking puppies....what would you say?

Would you think, perhaps, that I didn't actually understand your worldview at all? Maybe?

Think about it.


Emram,

Your comment was about the most stupid thing I've read all year. That's no small accomplishment, given the competition you're up against, so you should be quite proud of yourself there.

"Brian, It is actually evolution that teaches what you probably mean by 'subhuman' remember".

This is me, guaranteeing that you know nothing about evolution, whatsoever.

"Actually Darwin even taught this in Origin of Species when he spoke about 'inferior races'".

Did he now? Have you read Origin of Species? Can you tell me what 'races' he was referring to? What page number?

"We are only primates like every other 'non-human' species out there".

Here's the prize-winning stupid! Honestly, how can you even use a computer when this is what passes for thought in your head?

You do realize that in this sentence you are saying that every non-human species is a primate..and that we are primates too. Meaning that we (humans) are non-human.
LOL.

"This proves my post, what is the difference, I know how to answer that as a Christian, but how does the atheist assign dignity and value to being a human? If this is a 'strawman' simply explain human dignity?".

The first half of this bit makes no grammatical sense and the rest only matters if you would kindly first define 'human dignity'.



I ask again; if I respond to the garbage in the post, will anyone seriously listen?

Whateverman said...

I'm not an atheist, EPM, and I'll take you seriously. I tend to take almost all of the comments here seriously (which is ultimately the reason reading them gets me depressed).

JaV, how can your world view account for your presupposition that logic is valid, as well as the contradictory presupposition that the Bible is true?

Emram, Christians should be dancing and celebrating every time a Christian dies - according to your world view. How can you account for the mourning?

Sorry. I don't want to turn this into a flamefest, but, seriously, some of the comments here are either extremely ignorant or intentionally malicious.

Whateverman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
emram said...

Its amazing how human dignity has yet to be defined? Hmmm? Not sure what makes us more important than apes and ants? That is because according to evolution there is no difference. We may say that there is, we may like to think that there is, but in reality there is no difference. Any atheist want to tell me what makes human beings valuable without answer my post with averting questions?

Whateverman said...

Emram, content to turn a thread about funerals and mourning into a flamefest, did ignore my question and pushed forward with this:

Its amazing how human dignity has yet to be defined? Hmmm? Not sure what makes us more important than apes and ants?

The theory of evolution makes no attempt to define human dignity. In fact, it's completely neutral about the subject. Why you insist on demanding that it provide you with answers to questions it was never conceived to answer is silly at best.

Incidentally, the ToE also has nothing to say about how the universe came about. As far as evolutionary biologists are concerned, God could have caused it to come into being. I mention this to further promote the idea that the theory isn't concerned with morality (unless that morality is a survival mechanism), nor does it claim whether God exists or not, nor does it provide humanity with a reason to not stick its collective heads in the oven.

It does not. It can not. I never tries to do otherwise.

How do I account for "human dignity"? Define it first, and then I'll account for it.

Be warned: if you define it in strictly Christian terms, then you've answered your own question. No accounting needs be provided by atheists.

Whateverman said...

Also, there's a difference between the "importance" of humanity and the "dignity" of humanity. You seem to be using the words interchangeably.

Define your terms, and then we'll talk.

perdita said...

If man has no essential transcendent worth, than why do we weep and hurt as if we do?

Seriously, Emilio, if you woke up tomorrow morning, and you found that your version of God didn’t exist, would you really no longer be able to find worth in your lovely wife? Would you really suddenly think she was no different than a grasshopper? If you honestly answer 'yes', than I feel very sorry for you.

Brian said...

I agree with a lot of what he said, but I disagree with animals not mourning over the death of their pack. Elephants, for example, go through a state of mourning if an elephant of their group dies. Google it and see.

Fish with Trish said...

Brian, thanks for the input. Is there any reason why your profile is hidden?

Fish with Trish said...

Perdita, same question for you. Why am I not able to see your profile?

Derek said...

The Perdita question is moot. The real question if you woke up tomorrow morning, and you found that your version of god didn’t exist, would you still be able to enjoy the pride of life, or would God, in His mercy, save you upon hearing the gospel.
" Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." Jas 4:6
"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Cor 1:21

Brian said...

Perdita ... No, he wouldn't think of his wife as no different than a grasshopper ... but IMHO your distain for the thought proves his point ... that we have a consciene. ID think he went about proving it the BEST way, but that's just my opinion ... :-)

The Murphy's said...

Emilio,

Don't you think you should ask individual atheist what their world views are, before you start telling stories about them?I am sure it is not as standardized as you are trying to make it.

Ryan

perdita said...

No, he wouldn't think of his wife as no different than a grasshopper…

.…but IMHO your distain for the thought proves his point ... that we have a conscience…


To me the argument is that without your version of Jesus, there is no value in human beings and that in order to have value, God must put that value there. Because we agree that you would still value human beings if your version of Jesus didn’t exist, tells me that the value is not dependent upon a God.

ID think he went about proving it the BEST way, but that's just my opinion ... :-)

Except that he didn’t show that value comes only from God.

Perdita, same question for you. Why am I not able to see your profile?

No reason. There’s nothing filled out, but I just tried changing it for you.

ExPatMatt said...

emram,

"Its amazing how human dignity has yet to be defined?".

Is that a question? I'm asking you to provide us with a working definition of what you consider human dignity to be. If you do that, then I can attempt to answer your question about explaining said dignity.

"Hmmm? Not sure what makes us more important than apes and ants? That is because according to evolution there is no difference".

Different or important? As WEM pointed out, you need to maintain some consistency within your sentences, otherwise they become meaningless drivel.

"Any atheist want to tell me what makes human beings valuable without answer my post with averting questions?".

If you can only imagine human beings as having worth if they were created by a deity then I'm glad you believe in God; who knows what you'd do without your faith.

ExPatMatt said...

Emilio,

I can only speak for my own worldview; everyone may have different thoughts on the matter.

For an atheist, this is the only life we get. There is no heaven to look forward to and no hell to fear, just a return to non-existence. Knowing that this is the only chance we get to exist makes this life all the more precious to us (although studies have shown that Christians are more likely to fight tooth & nail against terminal illness whereas atheists are more accepting of death, go figure!).

When someone dies, we understand that that is the last time we will ever see them again. We will no longer experience their influence on our lives except in memory and it also reminds us of our own mortality - there is every reason for us to cry at this time.

Why a Christian would cry at another Christian's funeral is a mystery, as others have pointed out.

And as Brian said, we - as a species - are not alone in grieving for the dead. A number of intelligent, social animals recognize death and actively mourn the loss of a family member.

Contrary to what you may think, nihilism doesn't automatically follow from atheism.

I hope this helps to shape your view of atheists and their behaviour towards something that's a little more realistic.

Brian said...

ID have a profile bc I don't blog and there is nothing to say that those who know me don't already know. ... I'm also going to using another google address in a few more weeks. I'm in the process of deleting this acct.

bassicallymike said...

Matt said...."(although studies have shown that Christians are more likely to fight tooth & nail against terminal illness whereas atheists are more accepting of death, go figure!)."

Matt, you have refrenced this study here before. Would you have a link (or a tip on what to search for)to find this study? I would be interested in reviewing the info contained within.
Thanks,
Mike

Debunkey Monkey said...

Jason & Vanessa writes:
"we acknowledge atheist show empathy and love,"

Good, however I feel a "but" coming on!

but given their world view, why should they?

The lack of a belief in God is just that, a lack of a belief in God. It's not a philosophical position. Atheism in itself has nothing to do with love, empathy, hatred, or apathy.

That is the point of this post.

I understand the post; that doesn't mean it's not fundamentally ignorant of the topics at hand.

Try reading it again.

No thank you.

He is not saying "YOU ARE THESE THINGS" but rather, if you are consistent with your worldview then that is how you OUGHT to act."

You are just reinforcing that this is a strawman argument since no atheist believes their atheism dictates that they ought not show love or empathy.

photosynthesis said...

Emilio,

There are many problems in your discourse. This is why you get "averting" questions. If you cannot define value or worth of a human being, then the question about whether atheists can or cannot assign value to a human being is meaningless. If your definition of "value" includes God, then your argument is circular.

Creationists delight in talking about these things as if they were obvious. As if humans are valuable only and exactly because there is a God. yet, when questioned, not a single one can unambiguously, objectively, convincingly, define how or why there being a God gives humans worth.

So, here is my question: How exactly does your God's existence give you value?

As of me. Wow man. I can think, I can read, I can understand. That I am one instant of consciousness in the vastness of the Universe makes me feel incredibly valuable. So much so that I enjoy giving people understanding, explaining things. Because I find that this matter-and-energy, this whatever-string-theory-says-this-conundrum-is, can go all the way from subatomic particles to hydrogen to heavier atoms to consciousness and understanding is amazingly-awesomely-indescribably beautiful and valuable. If I could give YOU one instant of understanding about something you did not understand before ... wow man, that makes my day.

Yeah, go ahead and tell me that such value is "subjective." But then, show me how your perception of value because there is a God is not a subjective preference for some kind of value over another ... good luck with that.

No cheating Emilio. Whether going from "strings" to consciousness is a natural phenomenon or "God's gift", would not change my perception of value ... Well, wrong, it would! It is much more breathtaking that it is a natural phenomenon. God would make it cheap and easy (Puff! There you are!).

Ha! So maybe the question should be: Why would a Christian find any value in a human being? God can make them and remake them as frequently as he wants ... :-)

Let us not get lost: How exactly would the existence of your God give you value?

G.E.

ExPatMatt said...

Trish,

Is there any reason why you asked Brian and Perdita about their profiles but not emram?


mike,

Sure; the paper is called;

"Religious Coping and Use of Intensive Life-Prolonging Care Near Death in Patients With Advanced Cancer"

and it was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

As always, there's a 'further study is required' caveat, but at first glance it does indicate that those with religious convictions are more likely to ask for end-of-life treatments than the non-religious.

Cheers,

bassicallymike said...

Matt,
Thanks for the title.

You are correct in using "at first glance". Although you can use this report to buttress your assertions based on the conclusion of the authors of the study, I am afraid on closer inspection, the questions used to identify " positive religious copers", do not to me, necessarily indicate true believers.

Think of all the people who report praying to God when a plane is in danger of crashing. According to this study, those folks could be considered "positive religious copers". Since, on average, the people studied were dead within 121 days, you could say their plane was crashing. Although God forgives whenever we repent and place our trust in Jesus alone for our salvation, I have seen many supposed "death bed conversions" that have not panned out so to speak. I guess they were more interested in fire insurance than a Savior and Lord. When death seemed imminent, they wanted a Savior, but when healed, they walked just as they had before.

I wish the study would have asked questions about religious habits (frequency of prayer, Bible reading, Church attendance) before and after each participants diagnosis of cancer. This would have given a little more insight into whether there was a prior relationship or if their "religious coping" was a recent phenomenon.

This quote , by one of the authors of the study in an interview about the study on CNN states and would seem to indicate the majority of so-called "religious copers" do not seek aggressive care.

""We're not saying every religious coper is likely to get aggressive care," said one of the authors, Holly Prigerson, director of the Center for Psychooncology and Palliative Care Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "Most of them did not. Among those who were getting the most aggressive care, it was disproportionately a function of their being a religious coper." emphasis mine

If this gets posted twice...forgive me, my bad.

ExPatMatt said...

mike,

So basically, they weren't True Believers(TM) - according to you - so the results are invalid?

Your last point is irrelevant. I wasn't suggesting that most dying religious believers receive aggressive treatments - just more often than non-believers.

That was the only point; that atheists were more accepting of death (based on the research I cited) than believers which actually runs contrary to what you would expect with atheists trying to get every last second of the only life they have and theists looking forward to the happy ever after.

OK?

Emram, Emilio, Trish - no comments to make?

bassicallymike said...

Matt,

Only God knows the heart, however the criteria used by the researchers to pronounce someone a "positive religious coper" would fall miserably short of the eleven marks of a true believer contained in the letter of 1st John, just as someone being designated a "negative religious coper" in the study would not automatically make them an atheist.


In fact, I don't recall reading the word "atheist" in the report. Could have missed it, I guess. You represented the results of the study characterizing the camps as "Christian" and "atheist" when in fact those terms were not in the report and the patients studied probably represented those and everything in between. I see your point, its just that their criteria (researchers) to be in either group should not allow you to represent the results as distinctly as you have. My point!

Thanks

ExPatMatt said...

mike,

You are entirely correct. My initial use of the terms 'Christian' and 'atheist' was far more specific than the scope of the research supports and I retract my previous assertion in light of this information.


That doesn't change my stated position in the rest of my comment, however, as it was in no way contingent on that particular research.


Cheers,

emram said...

ExPatMatt,

It seems that you have calmed down a bit, your initial post sounded like emotional vomiting to be honest, but talk about circularity in an argument,

ExPatMatt said,

“When someone dies, we understand that that is the last time we will ever see them again. We will no longer experience their influence on our lives except in memory and it also reminds us of our own mortality - there is every reason for us to cry at this time.”

This still begs the question that has yet to be answered, placing value upon a person because: we are not seeing someone ever again, treasuring memories, being reminded about our immortality etc. in a materialistic worldview makes no logical sense. It is not consistent and it is not rational to say that man, who has no intrinsic value (still to be defined by the way), should demand that we care whether or not we will see him again. Once again, I know how to answer these questions meaningfully, but I have yet to hear one coherent consistent reason why, given the atheist’s worldview, I should think along these lines?

I think it is a stretch to see a parallel between how irrational animals (like chimps, dogs, or turtles) “mourn” for their species when they die.

Does the animal kingdom have something even remotely close to what we all know to be a funeral? No. They may feel instinctively that something unnatural has happened, (since death is unnatural and God has given some animals the instinctive knowledge of certain things like that) but they do not hold on to each others property, possessions, pictures, etc. This is absurdity.

Again, I am not asserting that this is the behavior of atheists but I have been in funerals with atheists and have seen them weep and mourn. But my question is more fundamental, given their worldview I cannot find consistent coherent reasons why they would do so.

emram said...

Murphy said,

[Don't you think you should ask individual atheist what their world views are, before you start telling stories about them? I am sure it is not as standardized as you are trying to make it.]

Not sure if you understand what an atheist is Ryan. It is pretty standard…that is why they have atheist clubs, societies, events, and other pseudo religious activities, precisely because they are unified on the main stuff. Hope this helps you.

Photosynthesis said...

[So, here is my question: How exactly does your God's existence give you value?]

Photo, it is one thing to say that because there is “God” there must be value, but I am not arguing that because people believe that there is a “god” that automatically means that there is value in man; I am only committed to Biblical Theism, not simply the belief in a generic concept of God. Every time this is implied it has no bearing on my worldview, and I would be glad to refute all other concepts of man, God, revelation etc. outside of the biblical worldview.

So to answer your question, man has value because the triune God of Scripture has created us in His image, to be the bearer of God’s image on earth. This is precisely what separates us from rest of the “species” in the created order. We are created rational, spiritual, self-conscious, volitional creatures that reflect something of the character and nature of God; the animal kingdom does not.

Photosynthesis said...

[As of me. Wow man. I can think, I can read, I can understand. That I am one instant of consciousness in the vastness of the Universe makes me feel incredibly valuable. So much so that I enjoy giving people understanding, explaining things. Because I find that this matter-and-energy, this whatever-string-theory-says-this-conundrum-is,
can go all the way from subatomic particles to hydrogen to heavier atoms to consciousness and understanding is amazingly-awesomely-indescribably beautiful and valuable. If I could give YOU one instant of understanding about something you did not understand before ... wow man, that makes my day.]

Unfortunately this is why you have accomplished very little in what your worldview can supply you. Your list of virtues are wonderful, but they fall utterly short of explaining why these things in and of themselves give us any meaning, purpose, ethics, value at all. You have an ethical problem on your hand as well. Such things as you say are “subjective” here. But maybe not how you think. What stops a person from saying that they find value, purpose, happiness in crime, rape, murder, mass murder like many world dictators? People could find value in these things. Once you abandon the foundation for all purpose, morals, and beauty, you lose any hope of an infinite reference point for those very standards. I think at this point you not only need luck for explaining your worldview, but that what you have determined as the standard for “making your day” is meaningful as all.

photosynthesis said...

Emilio,

Thanks. You are the very first Christian who has even attempted to answer my question. Yet, you fell short (sorry for borrowing your words).

Before going there:

Not sure if you understand what an atheist is Ryan. It is pretty standard…

It is not standard at all. You are taught to believe that it is "standard" so that you find more comfort in your beliefs. But you are all wrong. Atheists only share the lack of belief in any gods.

that is why they have atheist clubs, societies, events, and other pseudo religious activities, precisely because they are unified on the main stuff. Hope this helps you.

No, the reason is that people like having company for whichever excuse.

(Value in next post.)

G.E.

photosynthesis said...

Emilio,

Now the value:

So to answer your question, man has value because the triune God of Scripture has created us in His image, to be the bearer of God’s image on earth. This is precisely what separates us from rest of the “species” in the created order. We are created rational, spiritual, self-conscious, volitional creatures that reflect something of the character and nature of God; the animal kingdom does not.

This sounds subjective. You find value in being the carrier of the image of God. I find that useless. Also, other animals find value and meaning quite well. My dog is immensely happy smelling stuff. It is quite good at it too. The happiness is incommensurable.

... Your list of virtues are wonderful, but they fall utterly short of explaining why these things in and of themselves give us any meaning, purpose, ethics, value at all.

You never asked "why," you asked "if" we could find any value. The answer was "yes." Why? Unfortunately, the answer is in evolution. Some characteristics of ours have helped us survive as a species. I gather that, as an evolutionary advantage, we should also find happiness and meaning in being good at those things that helped our species survive. The mere process of understanding does something in my brain that makes me immensely happy. Seeing that "aha!" face in others makes me immensely happy to. Sharing is part of being an animal that depends on the group for survival, and such interdependency is the way towards ethics.

You have an ethical problem on your hand as well. Such things as you say are “subjective” here.

Not completely, since this is the core of our success as a species. Remember that objective means "beyond the individual."

But maybe not how you think. What stops a person from saying that they find value, purpose, happiness in crime, rape, murder, mass murder like many world dictators?

Maybe, except for the little detail that such a person also depends on the group for survival. If he or she harms the group, well ... do I really have to point these things up?

People could find value in these things. Once you abandon the foundation for all purpose, morals, and beauty, you lose any hope of an infinite reference point for those very standards.

I would say that such infinite reference does not exist. I would also say that it is quite easy to show that it does not exist just by looking at how people have interpreted their respective "holy books." Or by looking at a current moral problem that is being held back because some irrational rule in YOUR book, as other moral advances have been held back before (which you would nowadays deny).

But that would not be what we are discussing. We are discussing the reference points. Our reference is the advancement in our perception of who is being harm, and how is that harm justified or not, one step at a time. Yes, we "fall short," but that is all we have.

If there were an infinite standard, I concede, we would know where we are going. But there is no such thing. So we work with what we have. In order to advance, however, we have to stop believing that the standard is written. Otherwise we are condemned to never advance beyond the infinite crap in those "holy books."

I think at this point you not only need luck for explaining your worldview, but that what you have determined as the standard for “making your day” is meaningful as all.

As you read, it was quite easy to explain. No luck involved. Most sane people would perceive what I said as meaningful and valuable. Most would understand that there is something beyond the individual. After all, that I find such things meaningful does not come out-of-the-blue. It finds footage in my evolved humanity.

So, my footage might not be "infinite," Yet, given that you are not able to show how being the carrier of God's image on Earth is something obviously valuable and meaningful. I would say that neither Christians, nor any other God-believers, have anything on atheists, PEARLists, or whatever.

G.E.

photosynthesis said...

Hey, what happened to my comments?

Froggie said...

Some aatheists have funerals, some don't.
Atheists have funerals and cry at funerals for the same reason people that believe in their repective Gods do.

They get together to effect closure on the event. All people mourn the loss of loved ones.

If anyone should not be cryig at a funeral it should be the religionist that feels their loved one is in the afterlife they believed in. In the case of Christians, I always wondered why they cried at funerals. They should be celebrating and dancing in the street.

We also mourn the loss of pets. We mourn the loss of our property if our house burns down or gets washed away in a flood.

I cried at my youngest son's high school graduation recently.

If someone is trying to say that nontheists should not have emotions then that person needs to study sociology and the nature of human development. This post is absurd beyond description. Emotions are human experience and are not tied to religiosity in any manner whatsoever.

Religion has no effect on how much we miss someone when they die.
You must admit, even though you think your mother may have gone to heaven, you still miss having her in your life.

These types of comments coming out of the religious community are cruel and outrageous assertions.

This is the very reason why so many kids are leaving the faith. Ken Ham has done a study showing 2/3 of the kids leave the faith, and if this is the tripe you are trying to jam down their throats it is obvious why they are leaving.

The Murphy's said...

Emilio,

I echo what Photosynthesis said in response to your comment to me.

Ryan

ExPatMatt said...

emram,

Still nothing intelligent to say, eh?

Oh well.

Melanie said...

I'm in another class (history, no less) that is shoving evolution down my throat (yet again.... how many times must I read about it), but even that book says that the "story" of evolution wont be the same in the future. Its pretty precarious stuff to stake your all in.

ExPatMatt said...

Melanie,

If you wouldn't mind sharing; what is the context in which evolution is being taught in your history class? What are you learning about?

It seems a very odd place for it....

Of course the 'story' of evolution will be different in the future - it'll include all the bits from 'now' until that future point, won't it?!

Cheers,

Nohm said...

Melanie,

I think that you would be very hard pressed to find anyone, including atheists who would claim to stake "their all" in the theory of evolution.

I'm being serious.

The only people, that I've found, who think that anyone stakes "their all" in evolution are

1. People who don't understand what evolution is

and

2. People who don't understand non-believers.

And #2 includes non-believers themselves. Weird, I know.

I just say this because I've heard people claim that, before being born again, they "staked their all" (or something similar" in evolution. My response to this has always been, "Huh? What does that even mean? Why would you stake your all (and what does that mean?) on an explanation for phenomena? That seems really, really strange."

I understand why someone would stake their all on a religious belief. The beliefs usually ask for, if not require, it.

But scientific theories don't require people to stake anything on it. If you use it, then you should know the explanation. If not, then you can ignore it. Like complex math. ;-)

Having said that, as soon as people start to make claims about the science, they should know what they're talking about or realize that they're out of their depth.

ExPatMatt said...

Melanie,

Don;t leave us hangin' again! (again)