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Featured Why Did God Create Atheists?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Evangelicalhumanist, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    There is a famous story told in Chassidic literature that addresses this very question. The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

    One clever student asks "What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?"

    The Master responds "God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all - the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right."

    "This means," the Master continued "that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say 'I pray that God will help you.' Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say 'I will help you.'"

    ETA source: Tales of Hasidim Vol. 2 by Martin Bube
     
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  2. Rival

    Rival Veteran Member
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    He appreciates a challenge.
     
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  3. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Why Did God Create Atheists?

    That's kind of what God does
    Yin + Yang = Theist + Atheist
    Creating both opposites
    Women + Men
    All the time
     
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  4. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    That's awesome, and I wholeheartedly agree.
     
  5. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I don't know who this guy is, but I would find that slightly offensive if I were a religious person. I don't know if his intention were/is to bridge the gap between atheists and religious people? but that would not work on me, that's for sure :)

    What I would understand from this, is that religious people don't have the capacity to think and no clue how to be kind or make moral judgements unless their religion or God told them to, that makes them far inferior to atheists.

    Im glad (an assume) that this guy is religious? So at least atheism is not associated with this nonsense :D.
     
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  6. Suave

    Suave Simulated character

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    I figure God very well might be a posthuman civilization having us simulated as being their ancestors of whom some were atheists.
     
    #6 Suave, Jun 17, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  7. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    There's Bube, and then there's Martin Buber - two wonderful sources of wisdom!
     
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  8. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Besides the great point in the OP, there's a value in skepticism and from my perspective there are lives where people fully explore disbelief.

    There's also a short poem from a sufi perspective:
    Until college and minaret have crumbled This holy work of ours will not be done Until faith becomes rejection And rejection belief There will be no True Believer. ~ Abu Said (967–1049)

    Without getting hung up on semantics, the sense of this is that unexamined faith needs to be rejected and replaced by a true belief based on personal evidence not what someone was taught as a child.
     
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  9. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Maybe you are overthinking it. How about just "help somebody because you want to help?"

    This is in response to all those who make the claim that there can't be morality without God. And really -- if you want to be moral for you very own reasons -- there certainly can.
     
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  10. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Please pardon the typo.
     
  11. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    I though it profound but, then again, you don't know Bube. :)
     
  12. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I get that, but the quote makes it sound like this is something only atheists can do, but not religious people, because they require their religion to tell them how to do it.

    "God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all - the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right."

    Personally I don't care, because I don't believe in God and therefore this whole explanation he is giving is irrelevant from my perspective, as I think it is straight up wrong, I think religious people are just as capable of doing this as atheists are. I wouldn't make that distinction to begin with.

    But in my opinion, he could just as well have said:

    "Where atheists are capable of kindness and making moral judgements, religious people lack this ability without God and their religion."

    If I made such statement as an atheist, I think people, both religious and atheists, would jump on me calling bull**** to be honest.
     
  13. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Unnecessary to become an atheist to have true compassion. Just do it.
     
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  14. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    Why did God create atheists?

    Because he didn't create enough compassionate theists.
     
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  15. blü 2

    blü 2 Veteran Member
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    But it's not uncommon for certain believers to assert that there can be no morality without God.

    Indeed, they not infrequently add that all atheists are secretly theists who want to sin, and for that reason pretend that God doesn't exist.

    So this story is an antidote to such nonsense.
     
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  16. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    Like universal healthcare in the USA, right?
     
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  17. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    I do believe that was my point. The post is my answer to all those who suppose that you cannot be good without God. I believe something quite different -- if you ARE good, belief or disbelief in God won't change that, and if you are not good -- well, same thing. You might just try harder to hide it.
     
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  18. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Thank you.
     
  19. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    @Nimos, in my mind it really is quite simple: good people will do good, whether or not they believe in God. That's what it means to be a good person. And bad people, as we have seen throughout human history, regardless of their religious beliefs, will do what they will. How else could you suppose that a believer in an all-forgiving God could think it right to burn people at the stake? And it was a whole church that did that!
     
  20. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    However that doesn't really make sense, I think. Even if that is the excuse, because then what he is writing is either wrong or he is straight up lying.

    If a religious person hold the belief that all atheists pretend that God doesn't exist, then surely saying that "atheist teach the lesson of true compassion" seems weird, because atheists would not do that, but would in fact be lying about their none believe in God, which could really be an expression of compassion I think.

    And why would any theist want to sin, under the excuse of being atheist, I don't really follow that logic? Wouldn't it be easier to just claim to be religious and do sinful things, it just seems strange to me :D
     
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