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Featured Harvard's New Chief Chaplain Is An Atheist

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Revoltingest, Aug 26, 2021.

  1. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    The New Chief Chaplain at Harvard? An Atheist.
    Excerpted....
    The Puritan colonists who settled in New England in the 1630s had a nagging concern about the churches they were building: How would they ensure that the clergymen would be literate? Their answer was Harvard University, a school that was established to educate the ministry and adopted the motto “Truth for Christ and the Church.” It was named after a pastor, John Harvard, and it would be more than 70 years before the school had a president who was not a clergyman.

    Nearly four centuries later, Harvard’s organization of chaplains has elected as its next president an atheist named Greg Epstein, who takes on the job this week.
     
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  2. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Well no doubt it's an administrative position.
     
  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Who better to ride herd on pontiffs than an atheist, eh.
     
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  4. Rawshak

    Rawshak Member

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    Makes sense Humanist morals are a lot more relevant in the 21st Century.
     
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  5. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    He thinks, they pray. ;0]
     
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  6. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    An atheist is a chaplain. So by extension atheism is a religion. :D

    (at this point I should leave RF until the fury dies down).
     
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  7. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Also, he's Jewish, which is another thing that doesn't go well with Harvard's Christian roots.
     
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  8. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    I don't see a problem. It is not uncommon here to have atheists pastors.
    I think they have at least one in Canada, too --> Atheist pastor sparks debate by 'irritating the church into the 21st century'

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  9. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    He is a secular humanist. Humanist chaplains are quite common in USA and Europe
     
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  10. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    There are quite a few clergymen/leaders of religion who are atheist. Some always have been atheist some have seen the light later in life. They stay with the church for several reasons, some just have no idea how to get out and function in the world outside church, some are comfortable with the comradery, some cannot imagine taking on any other job.

    Ok, i read a survey by Tufts on this several years ago but cannot find it now...
     
  11. Rival

    Rival Veteran Member
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    Are they? I've never heard of them. It seems a little ridiculous.
     
  12. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    Yes, there are many in UK. When over 50% of the population are non-believers you need non-believers to talk to in your hour of need, not someone telling you about heaven and the need to repent.

    Humanist UK has a page on their website ...
    Humanist Pastoral Support
     
  13. Rival

    Rival Veteran Member
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    I need to move.
     
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  14. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    A big win for the theists!!!!!! Not

    It is more about 'having to join the club' to be able to offer non-religious services of any kind.
     
  15. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    Looking through the article, it seems he was chosen for his leadership ability and skill as a mediator. All in all a good choice for the position then.

    I'll admit that I was under the impression that chaplain was a solely Christian position. It's not something I'd really thought about though (I never felt the need to seek out a chaplain when I was at university) so I learned something new today.
     
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  16. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    Congratulations to Greg Epstein :)
     
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  17. Martin

    Martin Spam, wonderful spam (bloody vikings!)

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    Jolly good! The Church of England is full of atheists.
     
  18. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    She is absolutely on the right track, I hope that they let her continue her work.
    No one has the least Idea what "God" is yet they picture some sort of benevolent old man sitting in the clouds.
    What ever fills the voids between the universes, may or may not be responsible for their formation, and ultimately for the formation of this small rock of a planet. There is no evidence that such an entity exists or that it knows of us or is the least interest in us.
    In terms of the universe we are no more than scum on the surface of a puddle.

    Until we know for sure, one way or the other. should we just sit on our Butts and do nothing?
    There is so much need doing....
    There is no doubt that the planets ecosystem is in trouble.
    There is no doubt that the world would be better off at peace.
    That there is too much unnecessary suffering in the world
    That this suffering extends to its flora and fauna.
    Yet none of these things are treated as priorities.
    The human race thinks only of itself at a personal level and in the short term.

    Churches and places of worship should be different, they should have all these problems as their prime concerns.
    If they do believe in a God, is that not exactly what he would wish them to do anyway.

    Places of worship should be Focus points where concerns are formed in to actions, through education organisation and action,
    for the benefit of the world as a whole. They should be a meeting point for every one of goodwill who wants to be part of this greater whole.

    People who believe in God would gain a practical direction in their lives. And those who do not, perhaps a structure in their lives for the first time.
     
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  19. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Don't Kid your self, all churchs are stuffed to the rafters with private atheists and heretics.
    Whose prime reasons to be there are social, conformity and personal benefit.

    Anglican may have got there first but who knows.
     
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  20. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Ya know....it occurs to me that of all the Jews I know
    IRL, not a one of them actually believes in Judaism.
    They're all atheists who only identify as "Jew", &
    practice some of the rituals. It's more of an exclusive
    club.
    This is just what I observe among people I know.
    Weird. Very weird to me.
     
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