Monday, 1 April 2013

Unlinking the world's woes from atheism

I have been reading Michel Onfray's Atheist Manifesto, published 2005.  He has been described as "The French Richard Dawkins" but I think that description does justice to neither of the men.  Dawkins may be intolerant of religion, but Onfray attacks it head-on with the rhetoric of a priest giving a sermon. 

I came across this short passage (page 42) which addresses a topic that I covered recently in my series Things Christians Say.  It was a post called Atheists are responsible for all the world's ills,where I argued from the point of view that we atheists don't have time for such a daunting task.

"If the existence of God, independently of its Jewish, Christian, or Muslim form, had given us at least a little forewarning against hatred, lies, murder, rape, pillage, immorality, embezzlement, perjury, violence, contempt, swindling, false witness, depravity, pedophilia, infanticide, drunkenness, and perversion, we might not have seen atheists (since they are intrinsically creatures of vice) but rabbis, priests, imams, and with them their faithful, all their faithful (which amounts to a great many) doing good, excelling in virtue, setting an example, and proving to the godless and perverse that morality is on their side. Let their flocks scrupulously respect the Commandments and obey the dictates of the relevant suras, and thus neither lie nor pillage, neither rob nor rape, neither bear false witness nor murder—and still less plot terrorist attacks in Manhattan, launch punitive raids into the Gaza strip, or cover up the deeds of their pedophile priests. Then we would see the faithful converting their neighbours right, left, and centre through the example of their shining conduct. But instead . . .

"So let's have an end to this linkage of the world's woes to atheism."

Well said Michel Onfray!

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