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Giant Teapots and Other Atheist Myths June 23, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Theological Reflection.
Tags: , , , , , ,

TeapotToday, I am in a whimsical frame of mind. Inner woman and outer man have settled their differences and are no longer fighting one another: instead, we are amused.

We are amused by the atheists getting uppity over our review of Geoffrey Berg’s Six Ways of Atheism — twice over, in fact, as we are quoted at length by The Freethinker in Barmy Baptist resorts to sarcasm in dismissing new atheist book. It’s all highly entertaining.

What has me puzzled (there’s only one of me really, despite the voices in my head), though, is why the current crop of atheists are getting themselves so wound up over something that they say doesn’t exist. I’m not about to argue the toss on that one, though: as I’ve said before, God doesn’t exist: get over it.

I can understand Christians getting enthusiastic, especially when they’re new to the faith: I remember my own teenage years, out there with the best of them (or the worst, depending on your point of view), making like your friendly neighbourhood preacher, on fire for Jesus because I thought Jesus was the answer to the world’s woes. As it happens, I still believe that, but I’m no longer interested in converting people to my point of view: winning new disciples is Jesus’ job, not mine — my job is to be a disciple.

We Get to Carry Each Other

We Get to Carry Each Other

And that’s half the problem, isn’t it? If you’ll forgive me referring to Greg Garrett’s new book again, We Get to Carry Each Other: The Gospel according to U2 (WJK, 9780664232177, £11.99, due for UK release August 2009), I think Garrett has got it spot on here:

… for far too many Christians, belief in God seems to lead only to an attempt to make other people believe in God—so that they can make other people believe in God.

Dawkins is right: the God Christianity all too often offers the world is nothing more than a giant teapot in orbit around the earth. Me, I took the lid off the teapot and it was empty.

More tea, vicar?


1. Serial Insomniac - June 23, 2009

I’m sure you’ve already worked out that I’m not a religious person at all (indeed, I would class myself as an agnostic atheist), but having said that, I’m with you here; it’s almost amusing that some people become so militant against Christianity. It looks like insecurity to me. Sensible and reasoned debate is one thing, but bile and bitterness is another entirely.

I’ve also noticed a trend of late wherein anti-Christian types will defend religions like Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism etc. Not that those faiths should *not* be defended in the circumstances in which the need arises, but it’s the double standard that annoys me. Defend one, defend them all.

I believe the argument runs that Christians have a greater penchant for prosthelysing than other faiths, which I think in some ways is an idea based on a little truth, but just because there are a relatively small number of people trying to “force God down everyone elses’ throats” does not mean it is representative of Christianity as an entire set of beliefs. Evidently you demonstrate this 🙂

Ultimately, I think the problem is that fundamentalism of any kind is dangerous, whether that’s fundamentalism in Christianity, Islam or, indeed, atheism (or whatever else). Horrendous acts have been committed in the name of all these belief (or non-belief, if you prefer, in the case of the latter) systems. That’s why despite classing myself as an atheist I actually despise people like Richard Dawkins. It’s not his arguments *per se* to which I object, but the militant, fundamentalist, frankly close-minded way in which he presents them.

A little tolerance from all “sides” goes along way, and I hope that I am a tolerant atheist as you are a tolerant Christian 🙂 (though you are a kind and gentle one, and there I think our paths diverge as it’s probably a wee bit clear that I’m neither of those things!).

Hugs as ever,and thanks for an interesting post x

Phil Groom - June 23, 2009

Thanks for stopping by again 🙂 … as you say, it’s the fundies that are dangerous and end up giving us all a bad name.

I’ve had the interesting experience of having been brought up in an evangelical church family (Open Brethren as they refer to themselves) then found my into the C of E, and whilst the C of E has it’s fair share of fundies, overall it’s not too bad a place to be and is at its best when it’s being broad minded.

Love & hugs back 🙂

bourach - June 23, 2009

Faith journeys are fascinating says the ex wee free now AC. During the years of travel between the two points I found this amusing and helpful. http://www.geocities.com/church_of_hank/fundamentalists_anonymous.html

2. fromthesamesky - June 23, 2009

It IS interesting that they get so worked up over it – I mean, if God doesn’t exist, then why care?

Excellent post. And yes please – tea would be good! LOL! 🙂

3. Taking the lid off the teapot « Phil’s Boring Blog - June 25, 2009

[…] off the teapot June 25, 2009 Posted by Phil Groom in Theological Reflection. trackback In our last post we […]

4. Mike Smith - August 20, 2009

Decent post, bad title. It doesn’t really fit what you discuss in it.

“God doesn’t exist: get over it” would fit it better…but I guess you’ve already used that.

5. Akosua - April 30, 2011

Ok you believe God deos not exist but we should get over it , more than 1000 years ago people believed the earth was flat and this was made by a scientist. Then they found it was a sphere if you dont repent to all blasphemy when God ocomes you will be cast down to hell fire when you find God you se after all do you not believe in death can you see your death coming, if you where born with purpose how can you die withouth purpose and just rot. everything is made for purpose food is made to be eaten , the computer is made to serve the human need . JUST LIKE HUMANS ARE MADE TO SERVE GOD OPEN YOUR EYES THERE IS EVIDENCE OF NOAH’S FLOOD,THAT ESTHER AND SOLOMON LIVED. BE WARNED AND REPENT BEFORE ITS TOO LATE

Phil Groom - April 30, 2011

Actually, I think you’ll find we’re all living on the back of a giant turtle being carried through the void by four giant elephants … or something like that… might be t’other way ’round…

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