Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
R. McNeil Foster (“When atheists pray,” June 15 commentary) seems to think that there’s a point to be made if an atheist, in a time of ultimate fear and desperation, “prays” for a miracle.
I’m sure some would do so. But desperation is not faith. Fear is not belief.
Personally, I acknowledge the fact that I’m not in control of the world as much as I would like. Bad things happen, no matter how much I try to avoid or fix them.
When bad things happen, I rely on the love of my friends and family for comfort and support. I find far more comfort there than I would trying to reconcile the idea that there’s a loving God who allowed a child to get cancer or a tornado to destroy a town.
If God exists, he is either powerless to stop these things, or he chooses not to. So which is he, believers, impotent or sadistic? The answer is neither, because he doesn’t exist. And that fact brings me peace. Pity the theists who actually try to perform the mental gymnastics necessary to make their belief comforting. It’s much easier to have blind faith.
Foster also seems to think there’s a point to be made by calling atheism a religion, as if ignoring the actual definition of religion accomplishes something. In response, I’ll rely on the classics: If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color. If atheism is a religion, then my favorite hobby is not collecting stamps.
The desire for religious tenets to be true makes perfect sense. Who wouldn’t want to believe that you’re going to live forever in paradise? Or that you’re going to see deceased loved ones again? Or that all of your moral failings can be magically forgiven? Or that there’s an invisible guardian watching out for you (all evidence to the contrary)?
Religion is seductive. It provides answers, of a sort, when science fails us. And who doesn’t want to think they have all the answers?
Of course, wishing doesn’t make it true.
Weather Journal7 wintry scenarios for Sunday