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There is No Such Thing as a Thankful Atheist Comments

Until the scientist learns to give thanks, he will never get to the answer of contingent existence.To confront the reality of our contingent existence means--if we are to use our highest form of thought--that we give thanks, that we be grateful.  And this, ultimately, yields to faith, what G. K. Chesterton called "faith in receptiveness," a faith in receptiveness which gives rise to a receptiveness to faith. Continue Reading

11 - 19 of 19 Comments

  1. DLL
    1 year ago

    I am born. "I live,I move and have my being". I die. That is it? Why are we Intelligent? Why is human life greater than the life of a beloved pet,a dog,a cat for that matter any animal,plant,or any other species? Don't we learn much about survival from the behavior of animals,all the things around us,we even need some of these things as food. We can even cultivate the wellbeing or destruction of the development,or lack of,of plants,animals,insects and the like. Is our so called intelligent dominance over other species meant to be a manipulate advantage. If that is so why wouldn't it be humankind that has the intellectual advantage to such an extent that as a communicatively collective,computer based,acquired sense of learning and knowledge,we have been given in time,the opportunity of caring for our planet or to completely destroy our planet. Is knowledge or science ultimately constructive or destructive? Why is everything existing in time logically conceived. A woman's shoulders are narrower than a mans and her hips are wider. I learned that was because of her sexinherited ability to conceive,bear and to have children. Her face is more beautiful than a mans because it is the first face a newborn is likely to bond to. The man is stronger,has broad shoulders and a narrow pelvis this design enables him to work to do harder work than most women can,so he can care for the mother with her child. Everything in time seems to be logical and even a blessing,the product of something supernatural. Supernatural is beyond beyond the human sense of everything,call it Divine intelligence. Divine conception is conception through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was "Divinely Conceived" through the power of the Holy Spirit,not by the seed of a man,but by God. The Son of God is God with us,a God Man,Jesus. Jesus is the combination of Divine intelligence acting in time to save all for eternity. Mary had faith in God and in the power of the Holy Spirit,so she had the faith necessary to conceive a God Man. She was Immaculately conceived from her birth,as God created her womb to be a blessed monstrance so this God Man could be born. She was immacuately conceived to be without sin,a pure vessel. The "Garden of Eden" is eternal life,Divinely conceived,created and perfectly designed intelligence. We learn this though Jesus,the Christ! This Divine Man was obedient to the rules and regulations and designs of an ever eternal God. Jesus could die and did die for all in a battle against evil. Evil is that tree of the knowledge of good and evil,humankind ate of it and became dead in sin,thus perverting all time. To actually deny God is to deny oneself and one another,all existence itself and to be lost in a sense of a space and time. To exist in harmony with God is to choose good over evil and to be obedient to God always. Jesus always remained in harmony with God and was always pleasing to God. No faith,is to believe in sin as inevitable. If sin is inevitable and time honored existence an illusion of some sort of temporary thing called existence,than life is a joke,simply live,move,have your being,because tomorrow we could all die. A possible nuclear holocaust is the culmination of humanly mandated lack of a belief in intelligent design! Is the ultimate goal of "science" to destroy the planet earth and a people that chose the bad fruit over the good? Eat of the bad fruit each day and soon all shall die! One single sin is the errant cell with the power to multiply and eventually destroy every cell within the body of humankind collectively. That is why the sins of previous generations are the continual visitor and suitors for this current generation. In time it is all about choice, "choose a blessing or choose a curse"! God never curses humanity as he has offered salvation through one perfectly conceived and obedient servant,Jesus Christ! All others have chosen poorly and cursed themselves! Denial of the Divine is the curse of every person! To deny God is to deny oneself,as we have the power to choose death by our sins and lack of a Faith in God!

  2. abey
    1 year ago

    Paganism & Atheism are but two sides of the same coin. In terms of creation, Paganism suggests "One created out of many" which invariably ends up in its Gnosis to creating oneself to say dropped out of nothing, which becomes to Atheism. When in the Truth the Bible states " For before the foundations were laid God chose each one in His Christ." This refutes the beliefs of both Paganism & its off shoot Atheism

  3. Andrew M. Greenwell
    1 year ago

    @Abe: Thanks for your comments. I agree that "being is a proveable fact." That's the foundation of my argument. I think you are wrong that whether we are the cause of our own being, or merit our being, or somehow have done something to deserve our being is an "opinion."

    Is it you "opinion" that you caused yourself to be, or your "opinion" that you did not cause yourself to be. If the former, then please tell me how you caused yourself to be before you were you. I think you are confused. There is no opinion to it.

    Since we are contingent beings, we have not given being to ourselves. Our being is received. It is a gift. It is undeserved, not merited."

    It is quite certain that the universe (creation) does not answer the question of contingent being. I am not projecting a thing on the universe (creation). My whole argument is that universe (creation) cannot answer the question. I am not anthropomorphizing the universe at all, since I claim that logic requires me to transcend the universe and posit the existence of a creator that is entirely transcendent. While you might accuse of me of anthropomorphizing the transcendent, you certainly cannot accuse me of anthromorphizing the universe.

    As to your accusation of egotism, I disagree. Humility, thanks, appreciation, receptiveness of the possibility of an "Other" is exactly the opposite of egotism. It is egotistic to be proud, ungrateful, unappreciative for our being and not receptive to an "Other."

    I agree atheists operate under a Humean model. And Hume is wrong, arbitrary, and tendentious in his philosophy. I would expect you never to "observe" the transcendent. If you observed it, it would not be transcendent, would it. It would be immanent.

    Prove to me that observation is the only reality: that all there is what is immanent, and then explain how it came to be. If you insist that reality is only immanent, prove to me that love, justice, friendship, sacrifice, beauty, the good, the right, purity, forgiveness, the desire for eternity, the desire for God, mean anything. These are things, every bit as real as atoms and sunlight: in fact, I dare say they are more real than atoms and sunlight.

    Maybe love, justice, friendship, sacrifice, beauty, the good, the right, purity, forgiveness, the desire for eternity and God are "mumbo jumbo." Well, if they are mumbo-jumbo then I suppose there is nothing more we have to talk about because that is all I am about.

    Hopefully sometime, someplace, someone will draw you out of your Humean empirical world where there is no love, no justice, no friendship, no sacrifice, no beauty, no good, no right, no purity, no forgiveness, no desire for eternity, and no God.

    Faith is not based on the "absence of evidence." There are many "reasons" that point that faith is the most reasonable thing to do. Again empirical evidence is not the only kind of evidence, and scientific thought not the only kind of thought.

    If you're interested, you can look at my series on "Converging and Convincing Proof of God" on Catholic Online. There are man reasons for believing in God. It is hardly an irrational step. Indeed, between believing and not believing in God, I am of the strong opinion that it is decidedly more reasonable to believe in God than not believe in him. There are seeming reasons that can be suggested not to believe in God, but they are worse reasons than those which point to God's existence. Indeed, ultimately I think not believing in God is irrational because, without God, one cannot explain contingent being. One is stuck in a proverbial infinite loop.

    Finally, I have no idea why, given that my knowledge is obtained from my senses, I am somehow precluded from believing in the transcendent. This was the epistemology of St. Thomas Aquinas, and he certainly had no problem arguing for God's existence in his famous "Five Proofs." The issue is not getting information from our senses, it is how we reason after that. You want to restrict reason arbitrarily. I will refuse, as I want to think like a man, and not like a technician or a scientific clerk.

    Peace and may you find the Lord who is already at your side,
    Andrew

  4. GingerSnaps
    1 year ago

    Of course they can be grateful, gratitude is not peculiar to a specific religion or lack there of, its an emotion felt by every human, gratitude to each other, nature etc.

  5. zoofood
    1 year ago

    Great article!

    I'm reminded of a very old joke: two undertakers look at the remains of an Atheist in his coffin in his fine designer suit.

    'Poor bloke,' said one to the other, 'all dressed up and nowhere to go!'

    The sad thing is, in reality, they genuinely BELIEVE THAT!

  6. DLL
    1 year ago

    Peter: A strong faith is a product of a strong family unit. A strong marriage is extremely important for forming a strong faith in God. Unconditional love? That is the product that is available readily for those that have a loving Mother and Father,also sibling love,Brothers and Sisters are very important too. Church is family as well. Trust should be understood as a product of a strong Family and Church. To love is to trust. A lack of trust is the result of a poor family or a bad church experience or simply poorly formed human relationships or betrayal by so-called friends and the like. Atheists seem to be people that trust in themselves and themselves alone. No-one readily seems to be even compassionate or helpful and certainly to such a person,God is of little use. It could be that this is why atheists can be thankful that they are not burdened with faith. Many seem to want to enjoy life as they see fit and not to be bothered with moral judgements about themselves. To obey the civil law is enough for them. We write about and respond to the obvious flaws in civil law every day. There is no sense of dependable justice,community,or love in the civil law. God is love but to love is to trust and to trust Divine guidance and law. To me an atheist cannot trust anyone but themselves. I agree many must be products of poor family structures as well as a variety of many others sorts of abuses. If this n not true for many than many simply haven't found a reason to really believe in God yet. It is interesting to me that anyone would thank God that they are an atheist.

  7. Abe
    1 year ago

    "Since we are contingent beings, we have not given being to ourselves. Our being is received. It is a gift. It is undeserved, not merited."

    You seem confused, sir. Being is a proveable fact. What people deserve is a matter of opinion. You may assert that existence is "undeserved" and "not merited," but the very concepts of "deserving" and "merit" are human-created concepts. Humans believe other people "merit" or "deserve" things. The universe does not appear to.

    You are taking something that is in your own head and trying to project it onto the universe, and this is a fallacy. You are anthropomorphizing the universe, and this is what nearly all religions do in some form or another. It is an expression of human egotism.

    "They operate under the limiting presumptions of what the historian of modern secularism Charles Taylor has called an "immanent frame," a frame of reference which excludes anything outside of the immanent (the material, the contingent) and excludes--for no reason at all, that is by human faith alone--the transcendent (the spiritual, the non-contingent)."

    They operate under a philosophy called Empiricism, taking the position of David Hume, which is that nothing can be known unless it is first observed or inferred based upon past observations. I have never observed this thing you call "the transcendent (the spiritual, the non-contingent.)" Indeed, to do so would be a contradiction in terms. If I observed it, it cannot transcend my observation. If it transcends my observation, then I didn't observe it, and therefore I have no way of knowing that it is real.

    "Human faith alone" can give no knowledge of anything, because faith is "belief despite the absence of evidence," and with a total absence of evidence, nothing can be known. This is because evidence is a rough synonym with experience: no experience, no evidence.

    Now, you may seek to rebut this point using a lot of apologetic mumbo-jumbo, but the fact of the matter will be that unless you had first learned all of that mumbo-jumbo through experience, or inference based upon experience, you could never have known any of it. Not the concepts, not the words, not even the experience itself. Your own words disproved your argument as soon as you started speaking.

  8. Peter Northcott
    1 year ago

    To me, it seems that the sense of rootlessness and randomness so many atheists feel is probably related to rootlessness and randomness of sexual acts, and the breakdown of meaning to breakdown of the family. That so many children are not willed into being, are not loved into being, but just a product of "f***ing". They would be more likely to see their lives as gift and purposeful, 'having intentionality'.

    They feel they are in a purposeless universe because they are projecting their worldview and experience onto it, but assume it's empirical.

    The would believe in a designed universe if they were 'designed', and would be sure they had a Father if they were sure they had a father.

  9. Clinton C. Somerton
    1 year ago

    "Gratitude is Heaven itself."
    --William Blake

    What a great article! Thank you, Andrew, for your tremendous patience and insight in explaining the irrationality of atheism, not in a mean or defensive way but in a straight-forward and loving way.

    I am a former atheist who embraced the idea that the "Universe" didn't owe humans any explanation for its -- or their -- existence. It was convenient for me to cultivate this belief because it allowed me to dismiss God and to live just about any way I wanted without being too trouble by my conscience. Since entering the Catholic Church, however, I have gradually come to realize that I did not create myself in the womb, did not start my cells dividing, my heart beating, or my consciousness developing. In fact, even now, I do not sustain these things by any volitional involvement at all. And that's because I am a contingent being, and the One Who both creates and sustains me, Who says "Let there be" and Who has never stopped saying it, takes care of all of this and knows exactly what He's doing!

    To all my atheist neighbours, I would simply say this: recognize that we are creatures, called into being by our Creator and Sustainer, and that this is an invitation to gratitude and joy! It is precisely at this way that our Father in Heaven -- God -- reveals Himself to our awareness and our capacity for awe and wonder. Embrace this gift.

    In Christ,

    Clinton


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