13th April 2012

“Atheism leads a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation: all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue.”

Francis Bacon1561 – 1626

10 Responses to “13th April 2012”

  1. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    No doubt.

  2. Atheist MC Says:

    I would say that philosophy, moral virtue and sense also lead a person to atheism. Not sure about piety though.

  3. The Heretic Says:

    I wish that atheism led to philosophy in all cases, but I don’t see it. Many today are not deep thinkers. The worse offenders are theists in name only. They haven’t really thought about their so-called religion, or anything else for that matter. As such, they have no philosophical core.

    Society is slowly degrading due to a lack of a philosophical core. Say what you will about organized religion, but it does have the redeeming value of “being part of something” with people of common mores. Today’s people seem destructively disinterested with no direction.

    I would love to see a rise of philosophy, deep thinking, spirituality (with no deity required), and civilized cohesiveness. But, in today’s sound-bite, instant-gratification world, I am dubious.

  4. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Heretic I think atheism leading the way to philosophy is attributing more to atheism than what is possible: I mean after all atheism is simply a lack of belief in an all being master of time, space, and dimension.

    If you mean to say you wish atheists were predisposed to a more philosophical mindset or the study of the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence then I think they are, but so are religious people. Religious people are just including in their pursuit of said knowledge the existence of supernatural beings with purposes.

    Either way there are many “deep thinkers” in both camps. I’ll give you, finding apathy is more common among those faithful, who in the words of the priest “say they are on the team but rarely showing up for practice”. I don’t think it is very common to find much apathy among atheists/agnostics. It simply requires more to reject faith because it goes against the majority/against the grain (outside of societal norms).

    There is a growing idea that “the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature” The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson Permalink: http://amzn.com/0871404133

    Sam Harris is exploring the scientific basis for morality as a neuroscientist in his book The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris Permalink: http://amzn.com/B006W3YQTK and I think it shows great promise for the future of a more moral and more ethical future population.

    There is also a great deal of discussion among intellectuals demonstrating how society isn’t degrading as you say but instead improving significantly: See “Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen…just the opposite is true” The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker Permalink: http://amzn.com/0670022950

    I disagree with your statements about “deep thinkers”, “society degrading”, and “civilized cohesiveness.

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Oh BTW the words “natural piety” express man’s shared purity by birth: “natural” and his inward faith in an individual and communal spirit, “piety” rooted in “pietas,” with family, in this case humanity, at the heart of the universe.

  6. Jeff Says:

    But only God can lead to true moral virtue, which is inside, of course.

    Don’t all jump on my at once – that just pegged the needle on my sarcasm meter, thank you very much.

    Just as it is far easier to judge people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character, one can only judge men by their outward moral virtues, rather than that which is in their heads (or some would say hearts).

  7. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Jeff I like your sense of sarcasm!

  8. Jeff Says:

    Damn good thing, Sinjin, as it is my primary (read first) mode of thought.

  9. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Favorite sarcastic quote:

    Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.

    Mark Twain

  10. Jeff Says:

    I’d almost have to say that his entire body of work qualifies, but that might be just a bit too caustic.