Atheists are nice people

Posted: January 27, 2008 in Atheism, Religion

warning.jpgIf you’ve read this blog at all, you know that the writer (that’s me!) is an Atheist.  Personally I find the idea of a supernatural power, especially an interventionist supernatural creator, to be somewhat intellectually offensive and logically absurd.

One of the more … interesting claims made in relation to religion is that it is the basis of all morality.  Which, if you look at the evidence, is rather a silly claim but one which for whatever reason endures.

Regardless, here is a simple piece of evidence to  refute such claims.  I recently drove a long distance, right across the state where I reside.  Near to 1,000 kilometres all up, in the one day.  As you might imagine, I was feeling somewhat tired on the way home as it was at the end of the day.

On the side of the highway, next to a car with hazard lights flashing, was a woman holding an empty petrol can with two small children in the car.  It was obvious she had run out of petrol and needed help getting to the nearest service station.  I, quite simply, pulled over and provided transport to the nearest one.

Now if the above claim about religion/god being the basis of all morality is true then I would have driven on; It would certainly have saved me considerable time on my already long journey.  God, to me, is a fairy tale or odd imaginary friend that some people grasp onto and nothing els – so it’s fair to say I’ve rejected him pretty solidly.

And here’s the kicker.  The car that was in front of me (which failed to stop to help) before I pulled over to help had a bumper sticker on the back of it.

“I love Jesus.”

Go figure.

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Comments
  1. Now if the above claim about religion/god being the basis of all morality is true then I would have driven on; It would certainly have saved me considerable time on my already long journey.

    Oh, please. I really hate these “atheist good/theist bad ” posts every bit as much as I hate the “theist good/atheist” bad posts I see on theistic blogs. Having read your blog in the past, I KNOW that you do not look at the world in such a simplistic way.

    I agree that one does not have to hold religious beliefs to be a “moral” person. Morality stems from the recognition of a social contract between the individual and society, in which both recognize that doing harm to another is wrong, while helping another is both right and desirable. Atheists are as capable of entering into this social contract as theists.

    But you ignore is the vast number of people for whom religion has played an important role in helping them live moral lives. Even if you don’t believe in God, you have to admit that the Ten Commandments (or at least the last six of them, beginning with “honor your mother and father”, make as much sense today as they did when they were written, even if they weren’t actually handed down by God.

    -smith

  2. Matt says:

    That’s my point.

    It doesn’t take religion to be moral. You get atheists who are bastards, you get atheists who are great. You got religious folk who are great and religious folk who are bastards. Which is why I stated what I saw at the end of the entry – a supposedly jesus loving person drove straight on past someone in need while a professed atheist stopped. I am certain a lot of atheists would have driven on and a lot of religious people would have stopped.

    While some people use certain religious beliefs to base their own personal code of behaviour on, that is a long way indeed from the claim that god/religion is the basis for good, moral behaviour.

  3. OK, fair enough. Love the hat, btw. 😉

  4. tslsdmns says:

    ….atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning…

    C.S. Lewis

  5. Matt says:

    That’s a great piece of circular logic you’re quoting there. Pity it doesn’t actually mean anything and is based on a false assumption.

  6. TinaB. says:

    Funny story….We stopped to pick up two strangers that were walking with an air pig, to fill for a flat tire. It was freezing outside! We are white and the people walking were black, not that it mattered much, but we live in a very bad neighborhood. They were kind of surprised because another guy, who was white, was walking towards them. I think they thought we were stopping for him. My husband rolled his window down and asked them if they needed a ride, they said sure, thank you! As they were getting in the vehicle the white guy handed them two booklets. And walked on.
    The people we picked up asked me if we wanted one of the booklets. They said they had plenty at home. It was a new testament booklet. I took it and thanked them. I wasn’t very enthused about taking it, I’m atheist, but I took it anyway. After we dropped them off, I noticed something sticking out of the book, it was an envelope with a $25.00 gift certificate in it. I bet the people wished they would of kept it. 🙂 But my point is, I stop and help people all the time, doesn’t matter if I’m an atheist or not. Some people are nice, just because.

  7. Matt says:

    Exactly!
    And well done!

  8. doubtingthomas426 says:

    Hello, I’ve recently received a rather disturbing comment on my site from a Christian (whiteman0o0) on the issue of whether or not we are all born sinners. He stated that, yes, we are all born sinners. I argued that I believed babies and children are innocent and can’t and shouldn’t be judged based on the ‘sins’ of a couple of naïve children in the Garden of Eden. I brought up the tragic, unexpected death of a baby in its crib from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and asked if this baby should burn in eternal hellfire because it never had the opportunity to accept Jesus as his personal savior or ask for forgiveness for his ‘sins’? Whiteman0o0 responded, saying, yes, babies and children can go to hell because (and here is where it gets crazy) God doesn’t judge them for their ACTUAL lives but for the lives they WOULD HAVE lived had they not died. In other words, God creates an alternate timeline where the baby/child didn’t die and sees if they would have become a Christian or not, what sins they would have committed, etc. and sends them to heaven or hell accordingly. I don’t know if anyone else is as put off by this scenario as I was but I am pleading and urging anyone who does find it disturbing, or even those who agree with it, to please visit the page where the comment appears. You can find it here:

    http://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/2007/12/16/if-the-statement-is-true-your-religion-is-vile/

    Please read the comments (you can ignore the original post), particularly mine (DoubtingThomas426) and whiteman0o0’s and leave a comment addressing this issue. I truly appreciate it.

    Thank you and I apologize for taking up space on this page with my plea.

    DoubtingThomas

    http://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/

  9. lifelessonsfromwriting says:

    It boggles my mind that people can still believe atheists are all evil or amoral, yet this bizarre belief is still prevalent. I mean, are religious people actually being told that atheists are the epitome of evil?

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