Sunday, October 31, 2010

God who?

The world of blogging is such fun! I recently came across what might be termed a pro-atheism blog. Well, most of the other blogs I dip into are quite 'religiousy' & it makes a change! What's really impressive is the level of dialogue happening on this site. It seems not uncommon for it to rack up 100 comments on a single post within 24 hours. A quick skim through older posts gives the impression that some 'threads' can run for months. Nothing like this is happening on the other blogs I follow - probably not surprising! Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, & Orthodox sites aren't too likely to get people's blood boiling!

On this site they are all very convinced and passionate. OK, there does seem to be a degree of repetition - 'Oh those silly theists!' or words to that effect tend to crop a few times in most threads - but most of the stuff is quite refreshing & relatively restrained in how it's expressed (mostly - it must be hard to reign yourself in all the time when you think the folk you are 'agin' are complete twits!). They have thought through their position, come to a decision, and are happy to live with it.

And I can respect that. The world is full of people who mouth the values of faith with their lips and then have nothing in their lives to reflect the faith they claim to espouse. Of course, I have no way of knowing whether the folks posting away on this site are any better or worse, in some kind of moral sense, than the believers they think are deluded. No doubt they are just as likely to lie, fudge on their taxes, or cheat on their life-partners as anybody else. But that's not really the point I'm getting at. At least they are not being hypocritical and leading lives that make a lie of what they claim to believe.

It's funny how things seem to run in themes. There was an article in Church Times recently on atheism. It suggests that it can be turned to evil purposes just as much as religion can, that it was a major element of Communists' attempt to control people in the bad old days. I wonder if this article was intended to be uplifting or affirming in some way ... along the lines of: look how wrong these atheists are - they think religion is the root of all evil, but looky here - atheism can end up being used for evil ends too. I actually find the whole thing depressing. The original Bolsheviks embraced atheism because they thought that religion had been subverted into a tool of control over the masses by the ruling classes - can anyone seriously deny that they had a point?  But 'proving' that atheism can be pretty awful too doesn't 'prove' that religion is superior ... it just means that people can turn any ideal into a nightmare, especially when power and control come into it.

Now, few though the people who read this blog are, I'm sure there's bound to be a least one who's thinking: 'Now surely Father, while you're posting on that blog, you're trying to show those atheists the error of their ways and bring them back to the faith?' I haven't a notion of it! For a start, it's against the rules of the blog to evangelize and I'd be booted off in a heartbeat. And secondly, I think it would be rather pointless. When it comes right down to it the only 'proof' a believer can offer is their own faith, what they know in their heart about their experience of God. And that's precisely the sort of proof that these people don't accept. They want something you can put under a microscope and that's not something I can give them.

So I'll keep on posting ... at least as long as it stays fun! I'll look at what they have to say & they can look at what I have to say ... no doubt they'll think I'm an idiot or deluded or whatever ... and I'll think they're wrong too ... and hopefully the conversation will stay civilised ... and if everyone in the world behaved like that, wouldn't it be a much better place?

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