Monicks: Unleashed

Thinking Critically

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What lesson can we learn from atheists?

Chassidic literature can be inspiring. The story goes like this:

The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

One clever student asks:

❝What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?❞

The Master responds ❝God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all — the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness an atheist can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.❞

❝This means,❞ the Master continued ❝that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead, for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say ‘I will help you.’

 

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Atheists have no moral compass

One of the most perplexing, and recurring misconceptions about nonbelievers is that we have no moral compass. It has happened to me countless times, and if you’re like me, I’m sure it has happened to you, too. This inane idea that presupposes that atheists are unethical, horrible people, for morals can only come from god, and that ultimately atheists have no reason to be good, for they have no one to whom they must answer for their evil deeds…

**facepalm**

What is actually ironic is that atheists prove this assertion wrong every step of the way.

OK, before you people get all literal on me, let’s define moral behavior, shall we? In my opinion it boils down to two basic considerations: Always minimize actual and potential suffering; always maximize actual and potential happiness.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that this is a characteristic exclusive to atheists — Nor am I saying that religious people are immoral. In fact, this is a feature common to all human beings, there are plenty of reasons for my assertion. Let’s explore a few of them:

Neuro-chemistry — Oxytocin: It’s been scientifically studied that it affects our moral behavior. Paul Zak explains it on his TED Talk Trust, morality — and oxytocin.

Empathy: You have most likely heard about empathy, haven’t you? It is what allows us to infer how other people feel in a particular situation. Unless you are a troubled individual with a history of abuse, or some specific psychological disorder, it is not in you to see anyone suffer, let alone would you want to ever be the cause of his or her affliction.

Self-esteem: Let’s face it, nobody wants to feel like a pariah. It makes us feel good when we do good things for other people.

Morality is a function of society, it comes from reason which precedes religions and best-selling-book author/gods, or supernatural constructs. They may have worshiped the moon and the sun, but they didn’t have the set of rules that religionists claim to be the absolute moral guide. Think about it — hadn’t it been for evolution and reason, humankind wouldn’t have been so successful. The first humans in Africa didn’t have anyone to teach them about gods and morality, it was how these early communities thrived — helping one another.

We have no need for an external moral compass. We are moral because it is truly in us to be so. We are ethical because it is an inherent part of our character.

This is precisely why atheists are bewildered by the recurring question believers pose to us on how will we know not to murder and rape without religion telling us not to do it. When you use this argument, to me it is terrifying. Basically what you are saying is that what stands between you and a serial killer is a fragile belief in a supernatural deity made up by illiterate people trying to figure out why the sun hid at night. The irony here is that believers use this argument supposedly from a position of moral superiority. No, this doesn’t go over well, theists.

Finally, I would like to leave you with this thought: If you think an ancient book is the ultimate guide of morality, think again. This is a book where slavery is condoned, where rape is a matter of property, and where the main character demands of us that we murder people for imaginary crimes, like witchcraft.

Related articles

Bible verses on family values (monicks.net)
Atheism and Spirituality – Ricky Gervais Explains How Atheists Have a Moral Compass Too (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)

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Without god — Tweet of The Day

Only a handful of people –my friends– know that the majority of my analogy-tweets stem from some crazy comment by any of my mostly Christian friends and family.

This time it was my cousin who said to me that my life was surely gloomy and empty because god … was everything.

**facepalm**

god is everything? What does that even mean?

Want to favorite it or retweet it? Here’s the Twitter link.

How can god be ‘everything’ and not be perceptible in any way, let alone demonstrable! But that’s material for another tweet post.

Please, don’t miss the point, technically a glass that is full of air isn’t empty, but by definition it is, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to pour anything into it.

Think differently? Let us know in the comments. (◕‿~)✿

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