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No Blog of Significance: What Does He Care?:
"Why would Dawkins have any interest in what the human race might or might not enjoy in the future anyway? By his lights, humanity is the pointless, purposeless product of an undirected process that did not have it--humanity, that is--in mind. Humanity has no meaning in an atheistic universe. There is no purpose to existence in Dawkins' world. There is only eat, drink, and be merry--the lowest sort of animalistic, sensual gratification--for tomorrow we die."
This in a nutshell is the thiestic misunderstanding of a non-religious point of view.
Why, they wonder would a person without a belief in some spiritual mytholgy care about the world?
The answer is simple: it doesn't take a religous point of view to care. In fact, I see a non-religious point of view being more immediate when it comes to helping people, there is no "well, there's always the afterlife, maybe that will be better."
Part of the reason that I eventually decided that institutional religion was not for me was because of the limitations I felt that it imposed on me. Religions, by their very definition, claim exclusive knowledge of the supernatural. Its a defined set of ideas that you can accept at face value or not. Questioning those beliefs are discouraged, faith is given considerable value, and in some religious traditions, thinking about life and its meaning outside of the guidelines of that faith are strictly discouraged.
I thought that asking questions was the fun part? I felt that as I grew and experienced more of life I would gain a better understanding of the world we live in, the societies that surround us, and the universe that extends infinitely around us.
Religion was asking me to do something I was not prepared to do, to deny what I experiencing and witnessing in my own life; the truth of reason and observation. I can understand Dawkin's quest, because he feels, as I do as well, that most religions ask us to shut off a part of our brains that provide many of us with a tremendous amount of joy and fulfillment.
I too feel that its horribly wrong to try to force a set of beliefs on small children, especially if that means denying them useful information about the world they will encounter. I can't accept that forcing ignorance on someone might be for their own good.
Learning what it means to be alive and human through the act of day to day life and the experience of living is incredibly fulfilling. Once you begin to understand your own humanity you have a deeper appreciation for all life. I personally marvel that so many people can devalue the lives of people that aren't like them. I see all human life, indeed all life, as an equally wonderful gift. I resent those things that seek to strip humanity away from us, either by making us just more disposable pawns in tribal power struggles, or by saying that this life is of less value than the one that is promised to follow.
I've come to place great value on my own life, and therefore I place a great value on the lives of others as well. In the abscence of religion I care about people and I care about humanity. Is that so hard to understand?
As for the big questions -- I think most religions provide inadequate and very limited answers, tainted by own human need to feel exceptional at the cost of others.
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