Time to play.
This time we're going to play with atheism. 'Cause atheism is fun to play with.
Atheist,Voula Papas, has written a little ditty on atheism. Papas' basic thrust is that atheism is an agent of freedom that sets a person free and restores intellectual integrity. How quaint. But instead of needling, and harpooning Papas' logic, I'm going to take a different approach and re-write the article from the other edge of the sword; from the Christian theist edge, that is. Call it an extended reductio ad absurdum, or a whimsical scrap of satire. In any case, it should serve to illustrate some semantic futility. Which is always fun in the end.
Papas is red. I'm not.
"It has been said that atheists criticise religion while having nothing to offer as an alternative. The former is true, atheists DO criticise religion, and they speak out on the faults and falseness of religion. In other words we shout: THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES ON!!!"
It has been said that religion criticises atheism because it offers the noun nothing as an alternative. The former is true: religion does criticise atheism and speaks out on the absurdity and groundlessness of atheism. In other words, religion shouts, "The Emperor became a MAN!"
"The point is not whether atheists criticise religion but whether religion can stand up to criticism. So far no religion could stand up to criticism, that is why religion has had to resort to blasphemy laws and the might of the state to silence and crush opposition. In some Muslim countries, anyone who criticizes religion can be charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death."
The point is not whether religion criticises atheism but whether atheism can stand at all. So far atheism has failed to even grow legs. That is why atheism has had to resort to advertising itself on busses in an attempt to inculcate the masses, by way of a religious-style frenzy, that a logic-based approach to ultimate nothings is a healthier, more politically precise way of being a decent and well-manicured citizen. In some atheist countries (e.g., North Korea, or China) even hinting at a confidence in some form of the divine will sentence you, your household, and anyone else connected with you in any suspected religious fashion to prison or death.
"What does atheism offer? One may rightly ask!"
So, what does religion offer? Good question.
"Atheism offers intellectual integrity and freedom from religion. Atheists reject religious absolutes, primitive "revelations", superstition, blind obedience and self-effacing prostrations to a tyrannical deity whose existence cannot be proven."
Religion offers wholistic solidity. That is, a 3-dimensional grasp of personhood, not just the apotheosis of the intellect. Religion also offers freedom despite atheism, but also inclusive of the sensitivities of atheists. Christian theists generally reject philosophical relativities, shoddy scientific research, materialism, and facile and diffident concessions to a system of denial that cannot establish a logical link between its denial of deity and the actual lack of a deity.
"Atheists value reason, logic, knowledge, freedom, equality and social progress. Many atheists are highly ethical people who live by the golden rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you. A lot of them are involved with human rights organisations, environmental issues, animal rights and other social issues with the goal of making the world a better place."
Christian theists value reason, logic, knowledge, freedom, equality and social progress. Many theists are ethical people enjoined to the biblical injunction to "do as you would be done by." Historically, Christians were the creators of, and contributors to some of the worlds greatest, most successful human rights organisations, and social developments. And their goal? The dignity of the people, and the honour of God for the purpose of a more meaningful world.
"Ethics need not be entwined with religion and meaningful lives do not require fictitious deities. I hope that during the course of my life I would be able to make even a small contribution into a better future for all."
Religion and ethics are necessarily entwined as both serve to deepen and enrich peoples' lives as they enjoy life with God. Like some well-intentioned atheists, those of us who are religious hope to make even a small contribution to the betterment of peoples' lives around us, and ensure that the future is not without hope or substance.