Good without God? Let’s be outstanding!

Posted by on December 12, 2010 in Thoughts | 4 comments

Every 365.25 days, our planet completes another traverse of the sun. For a human, it seems like a long time, 365 complete cycles of waking and sleeping, working, playing, and interacting with others. At the end of each cycle we tend to reflect upon our lives, and the lives of others less fortunate. In Christian societies we have the arbitrary date of December 25 to celebrate the Christmas festival which is designed as a time to praise the birth of the baby Jesus.

Good Without God

Good Without God

Along with being thankful to Jesus for whatever reason, there supposed to be an accompanying sense of humility, remembering your place in the world, that you are small and that you should love your fellow man (oh and God of course!)

I have to say, however, that I don’t see a lot of that happening, in the name of God. For the average Christian in a 1st world country, while they might give an extra gold coin to the homeless guy down the street, most people are more worried about how they are going to cook the turkey, or what colour napkins to use at the Christmas lunch, or if Auntie Beryl will pass out under the table again this year.

So many espouse the idea that their god makes them a good person, that the simple act of following the doctrine of religion is the only way to be good, to be actually good and worthy of this world. Cardinal George Pell has recently even gone so far as to say:

The lives of people without faith have “nothing beyond the constructs they confect to cover the abyss…”

”A minority of people, usually people without religion, are frightened by the future…”

”It’s almost as though they’ve … nothing but fear to distract themselves from the fact that without God the universe has no objective purpose or meaning. Nothing beyond the constructs they confect to cover the abyss.” – SMH

While I was gobsmacked when I read this slanderous hate-speak coming from one of Australia’s top Catholic leaders, I won’t tell you what i really think of the man, not here, not now. But what I do see here is a manifestation of the idea that without god, one can’t lead a purposeful life. To that I say “HUMBUG!”

Chances are, if you are reading this, you are not so poor that you have nowhere to live, nothing to wear, no clothes or access to clean water. Chances are you are not living in a poor African village, a slum in Lahore, or a crumbling mud building in Afghanistan. So I wonder, in the scheme of things, have you considered how lucky you actually are? You don’t have cholera, that’s a start…

While I’m sure there are many who donate time and money to the various appeals going on around this time, the majority of people do not. Even among atheists who might preach something like what I’ve said above, it simply might be too difficult to donate or to know who best can use the money. I’ve made it easy for you.

I suggest to you that if you are going to donate money, give to a secular charity, one like Oxfam (my charity of choice for their work with indigenous cultures here in Australia), who will put the money to good use in poor and underprivileged communities. You may notice on my homepage I have put an Oxfam link on the right-hand navigation. Go there and donate something.

Or if you like, here are some other secular charities who also do great work, not only for people, but for the world also.

Doctors Without Borders
Amnesty International

Don’t forget the animals!
World Wildlife Fund

Also the Richard Dawkins Foundation is still raising money for the Pakistan flood crisis (no it’s not over).

Let’s take this opportunity to not only prove what we have been saying all along, that we ARE in fact “Good Without God”, but that we can be OUTSTANDING without God. We can lead by example, and we can put these crackpot ideas to rest.

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  1. A professor, who is black, once told me something like because of history and perception black peeps have to go above and beyond in their endeavors just to be average. We are like that also. The perception is that godlessness equates to no morals/ethics, which of course is not true, and that is why we have to be ‘outstanding.’ Too bad (all) believers do not do the same. Awesomeness.


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    • An excellent point Kriss!

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  2. I take offense at the Cardinal’s statement. As an atheist I don’t live in fear of the future. It is the religious who live in fear every day. Fear that they may transgress in thought or action one of the myriad arbitrary laws their vengeful God judges them with. They can never be sure if that sideways glance at a bit of skirt will end them up in eternal damnation for thought crimes. This leads to the overcompensation that manifests as that most distasteful of all religious afflictions, self righteousness. A condition, I fear, Cardinal Pell is intimately familiar with.

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  3. Why is it as an atheist, I see so much hypocrisy among the religious? Despite all the evil they think, do and say, the Xians always think or say, “I’m being good because I want to go to heaven!” (more or less). How is it as atheists, and I know a few like myself; we do good for “goodness sake!?”

    signed: Confused and disappointed in people, atheist…

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