It was interesting to see the “There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life.” turned into another example like ‘There’s probably no tooth-fairy (lochness monster), so get on with your life’.
In reference to the ‘apoplectic anger’; I was reminded of the ‘God’s not dead’ original movie; when the young student talking to the professor, got to the stage of asking after the professors outburst at he hates God; “Why are you so angry at someone that does not exist?”.
I also was interested in how enjoyment in life is just one emotion. If enjoyment is all there is to it, how do we deal with life when we don’t reach this level of enjoyment that everyone else is apparently having (especially on social media when we compare our real life to everyone else’s highlight reel).
To be fully, authentically human is to have experienced anger, boredom, compassion, delight, expectation, fear, guilt, hope, insecurity, joy, kindness, love, malice, nonchalance, obligation, peace, queasiness, relief, sensuality, thankfulness, uneasiness, vulnerability, wistfulness, yearning, and zealousness.
Bannister, Andy. The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist (p. 19). Lion Hudson. Kindle Edition.
As Dawkins famously stated;
“The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
You’re alone in a universe that cares as little about you (and your enjoyment) as it does about the fate of the amoeba, the ant or the aardvark. There’s no hope, there’s no justice, and there’s certainly nothing inherently wrong with poverty, incidentally, so quit protesting. Life favours the winners; some get the breaks, and others get the sticky end of the stick. Still others get to make millions selling books on atheism,
Bannister, Andy. The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist (p. 20). Lion Hudson. Kindle Edition.
I also liked the exploration in Chapter 1 of motivations for writing a book; or doing anything else.
(atheist writer, the philosopher Patricia Churchland) Boiled down to the essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed at four things: feeding, fleeing, fighting and reproducing … Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.
I did like the style of this book so far, as it’s very different to other apologetic books; although I found sometimes a little challenging and maybe a little refreshing to have to pick out the veiled humor and when it switched to back to seriousness. Maybe that’s the idea, to get the reader to stop and think about what is serious by all the embedded humor. I quite like it.
I liked the thought
"is a life spent playing computer games and eating pizza as valid as one spent fighting poverty or serving the cause of justice?
Bannister, Andy. The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist (p. 28). Lion Hudson. Kindle Edition. "
if as Dawkins suggests there is no God; then life playing computer games is just as meaningful as serving the cause of justice. the universe doesn’t care what you do with your life, after all, because you are a quick blip of chance/matter/energy and then you are gone…
I guess in answer to question 3; don’t put anyone in any of our ‘boxes’; atheist, agnostic, etc. start with the thought that the person you are talking to is an individual. I was talking to a gentleman and trying to lead towards the “Morality” category and I made the mistake of taking the conversation backwards and mentioned Dawkins view of morality; this seemed to introduce doubt in the conversation. The gentleman did not bring up the opposing viewpoint; I had; so in retrospect the conversation may not have gone as well as it could have. Maybe I didn’t ask enough questions of where this other person was at; but put words in his mouth. I need to remember to ask a question; and stop talking and wait for a thought-out response by the other person. I just pray that it was enough to start him thinking about things of spiritual and eternal nature and leave the results with God.
good first chapter; I’m looking forward to the rest of the book…