an atheist speaks out: how christians and atheists can work together

Turtles All the Way Down

a really good friend of mine who is an atheist shares his thoughts on bacon, god, and how christians and atheists could work together. here is his article.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          by James Millar.

I USED to be a vegetarian – but bacon frying in the pan smells so good doesn’t it?  It was a life choice based on the basic principle that I did not want consume a sentient being. A personal choice – a personal view. However, I was always surprised by the confrontational response I would generally receive when I revealed this detail of my life. It was a constant irritation to me, that others seemed to feel compelled to confront my belief system head-on. With a sigh, I would brace myself, yet again, for a bombardment of hackneyed counter-arguments. Not that they ever managed to shake my personal conviction that my choice was the right one for me.
My vegetarianism has now lapsed, but I still try and eat food which has been ethically sourced and have a great sympathy with the compelling arguments put forward for vegetarianism – maybe in the future I’ll be a veggie again, sausages taste so good though.
The reason I bring this up is like vegetarianism, atheism, seems to evoke a similar response. I have for many years held the belief that there was no god, no higher being guiding life, no holy spirit, that we are just animals, like any other inhabiting the world. A result of evolution – no less no more.
My name is James and I am an atheist.
There I’ve said it….I’m out the closet, because ever since I’ve held this viewpoint I have tended to keep it to myself. Perhaps it’s because I find the sight of atheist heavyweight Richard Dawkins, attempting to intellectually bludgeon the religious community slightly unsettling. I’m not driven by trying to impose my viewpoint on others, frankly I don’t care enough. But then I expect my beliefs to be respected and I don’t want to be hammered by religious dogma either.
I understand the hostility to my world view.

 Atheism calls into question one of the core beliefs of those with a religions conviction. The atheist doesn’t get ‘faith’ I’m afraid, he is needs convincing with scientific fact. Basically, if the argument is conceded that there is no intelligent design, no heaven and hell, no higher being guiding us through life then the house of cards collapses. If I had spent my life believing in God I might react in a similar fashion. 

Never the twain shall meet then?

I think not, there is common ground. There is a dialogue to be opened up here. I doubt there will ever be any concession on the diametrically opposing views of the existence or not of God. But I think Christians and Atheists do have a lot in common. Both have spent time pondering the big questions in life – where do we come from, why are we here, what happens when we die. More importantly though I think, both believe in promoting and nourishing the inherent goodness of the human race. Put simply; we believe that people should be good to each other.  I feel this, as a belief is far more important than a debate on the existence of a higher being. I would equally lack interest in a debate on whether fairies live at the bottom of the garden, I don’t mean to be offensive, that’s how I feel about it.
The only way in my view that the two can progress, is to leave that debate at the doorstep, and talk about humanist philosophy. I want to be decent, kind and honest to my fellow humans, not so I’m in God’s good graces, but because it feels good and I know on a fundamental level it is the right thing to do. But whatever the drive; those who care about helping others should come together, talk, take action and try and make this a world we are not ashamed to hand over to our children. Bacon’s burning, got to go!


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