Can atheists express gratitude about nature?

Originally posted on russell & pascal:


I’m humbled by your change of mind about how the atheist sees the world. Thank you for talking this through with us.

In your comment to EMil you said:

If all things very big, very small, or intricately related (some of the things that awe me) require no cause or no direction beyond the physical realm then there is no one to thank, and I am a fool to even dream of meeting and talking with the author. That saddens me.

You are not a fool to dream of meeting or talking with the author. I think that desire is within almost all of us. I dream of it. I think we all (almost all) hope for an eternal being who will love us forever and provide the answers for our deepest questions.

There is a desire you speak of in your post and comments. It is to believe…

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“Chant the Beauty of the Good”

Originally posted on Secular Chaplain:


Emerson is over-quoted and often mis-quoted.

Yet, after 150-odd years, the old Sage of Concord continues to offer some wisdom for both seculars and spirituals.

I found this little gem while preparing to teach a college course that begins next week.  I actually needed to read and reflect on this.

“Do not waste yourself in rejection; do not bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson (Journals, July 1841)

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Religion lives in the primitive brain…

A few weeks ago, I took part in a discussion about the soul of a person with a split brain (When through surgery or incident, a persons left and right brain hemispheres are severed from each other). This is one of my responses, built on a discussion I’ve had years ago while romping around on a university campus. In no way, is this a scientific proof, but I thought it’s an interesting way of trying to understand the religious mindset and the almost survivalist response from religious people. I’m really looking forward to anyone’s perspective on this idea.
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What Atheism Isn’t

EMil Wentzel:

A brilliant and clear explanation of what atheism is. Because it really is this simple:
I don’t believe in god/gods.

Originally posted on learningatheist:

Where to start, but the beginning.  As Richard Dawkins has said, we are all born atheists.  Most people of religion will say this is untrue.  Their belief that we were born with God’s breath or spark within us leads them to believe that we are born to religion.  But if you were to take a baby and raise it without any knowledge of any religion, that religion won’t just spark into existence.  Someone has to put it there.  Sure, some will say that this knowledge can come to them through revelation.  If that were true, why would we teach people?  If divine revelation were so powerful, why not let everyone learn religion through revelation rather than starting to teach children from the time they begin speaking about the religion that the parents believe?


So we’re born atheists.  What does that mean?  What IS an atheist.  Well, that question is…

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People are people

EMil Wentzel:

What humanism is all about!

Originally posted on Scrapbook of Truth:

gevers_cover_natureI love when people recognize others humanity and show them compassion for being the same flawed, irrational, illogical human being that they are. But sometimes, when trying to find someone’s humanity, we keep talking after we should have finished. This is when we tell people to treat others better, then give a reason.

For example; You should treat people better because you don’t know when you might need their help. You should treat people better because they’re someone’s brother/sister, husband/wife, son/daughter. You should treat people better because they might have been through a personal tragedy.

You should treat everyone well because they’re human beings and they all have dignity and worth as individuals. Not because they might do something for you, not because they might be related to someone, not because they might have been through something that you haven’t. But because they’re human and that’s what all humans deserve.

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