Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Hmm …

… The Blessings of Atheism - NYTimes.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I think very few people of faith presume that those who do not have faith are neither good nor kind, anymore than they presume that those who profess faith are necessarily either good or kind. 
Human “free will” is Western monotheism’s answer to the question of why God does not use his power to prevent the slaughter of innocents, and many people throughout history (some murdered as heretics) have not been able to let God off the hook in that fashion.
Jacoby's dismissal of theodicy (which, by her own account, she hasn't reconsidered since she was 9) strikes me as rather cavalier, because the problem is real: If there is a God and he does create us to be free, then he has to let us act freely, with all the consequences therein implied.

Finally, we need to show up at gravesides, as Ingersoll did, to offer whatever consolation we can.

And just what consolation might that be? If you're going congratulate yourself over your tough-mindedness in dismissing the idea of God, then go the whole way and admit that in a world without God there is no consolation; the dead are dead for good, gone forever.
I might add, by the way, that while the faith I profess assures me that my soul is immortal, I could easily thank God just for being in the first place. As John Hall Wheelock put it (and yes, I know, I have cited this often enough): “to have lived / Even if once only, once and no more, / Will have been – oh, how truly — worth it.”

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