Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Atheists and TGIF...

Why do atheists get all bent out of shape when other people express some sort of gratitude to God? Take the atheistic blog which posted the following:
Thank god? Who? For what? Sometimes, I feel like I must have come from a different planet. I just can’t understand these Hu-mans, and what they do is occasionally incomprehensible and creepy. Take, for example, this collection of God-thanking from the Olympics, all gathered together in one place. All of these people, taking unreason and invisible super-beings for granted, and giving them credit for relatively minor physical efforts…none of it makes sense.
For added insight on how such God-thanking unnerves the typical atheist, just read the comments section at the end of the post. Now I'll be the first to admit that there are theological implications with regards to whether God favored one athlete over another or, for that matter, whether God even cares who won a particular race. But, being atheists, why should they care about theological issues? Indeed, as a theist, I was not bothered with an athlete thanking God, regardless of whether they were thanking God for winning gold, or for just getting the chance to participate - despite the outcome. I was not bothered if an athlete chose to thank Buddha, Allah, the Force, the mountains, his coach, mother, father, brother, sister, or 3rd grade science teacher. However, I would have been surprised had an atheist athlete thanked the unguided deterministic laws of physics which, in combination with chance, not only allowed him to win, but provided him with an abstract sense of pride, purpose, and accomplishment. I would have also been surprised to hear him further state that such an abstract state is ultimately meaningless, and would disappear with him in his grave. Of course, that would mean he would have to be a consistent atheist.

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