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Atheism seems to have taken over in Ireland. It is the thing to profess whether one understands what it means or not. This 'trendy' atheism, whose sole purpose is to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, is just as self-serving as any unbending religious doctrine.

Is atheism a benign force in history?
Is everything morally justified in the absence of gods?
Is atheism a religion?

Does atheism generally place its faith in some other absolute (be it humanism, the march of history, materialism, the economy, or even hedonism - cuius venter deus est)?

Both atheist and believer wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated. But is it Stephen Fry's 'manic God' or man's mismanagement of the earth is the cause of them in the first place?


no one has commented so i suppose i should say something

i am not an atheist - i have rejected the image of a male god and the judeo-christian formulation

as the t shirt says - you can be good without god
humans seek the good - and call it something
humans seek community and have in the past centered it on that "something"

(Mircea Eliade has an interesting book about this)

do atheist seek the good?
at least some do
i'm not sure atheists accept absolutes - no matter what the name

does it really matter what the seeking is called?
is not the good what is important?

organized religion has always harmed those who it thought opposed it
for some it is a personal wound
for some an institutional one
the wounded strike back sometimes

the important thing is to keep seeking the good

Hildegard of Bingen in one of her canticles says of the spirit
"I am the yearning for good"
If I do not believe in an all-loving God why should I bother with anyone outside myself? Many, many, live that way in any case.

I'm a Catholic but I also reject the image of a male God. It is just handy to refer to a mystery by some name. It is those who, like Stephen Fry, do not believe who promote these weird notions of some old bearded gentleman in the sky who spends his time letting people in and out of pearly gates and doing nothing about little children with cancer.

What does 'spirit' mean outside the notion of God?
we have groups here in the US who still prefer the "old man in the sky image"

what does "god" mean outside of the usual judeo-christian context?

spirit can be that which animates - the life force -
which can be given an image - one that resonates with the believer

can an "all loving god" be the image for the impulse to aid - to want the good?

what if instead of "all loving god" one says the "life force" impels us to "encourage life and support the good"?
the result is the same

i am impressed that you have left the image of a male god!
it is still being used to restrict women

"what does "god" mean outside of the usual judeo-christian context?"

I think that some Eastern groups make a better effort at trying to enter into the mystery we call God than we Judeo-Christians do.

To me human life and spirit is merely a sharing in the Divine Life and Spirit.


As I said in my bio 12 years ago Athgarvan Musings is intended to be just "an aid to memory."

Re: Comments

for me it is an intellectual challenge which i greatly appreciate
Thank You!
I resist the desire to codify and personalize that which is greater than humanity's ability to envision. To put any aspect on deity is to minimize it and entrap it into the necessary confines of thought, belief and definition. God or a creator or an essence or a wave or a ... a ... a ... is so much more than that. I'm not an atheist, but I probably would be defined as one because I refuse to fit Spirit into any mold or name it by any name.

- Erulisse (one L)
I am an atheist, but all that means is I, personally, don't believe in God. In my belief system, that has nothing to do with whether you do or not, and I am happy for you to believe whatever works for you. I would never say God doesn't exist for you. I think a lot of atheists are rude jeering boors who should try to learn some manners and not make fun of or denigrate others' beliefs.
Thank you for that.