from the essay On Civil Disobedience
although it is seldom mentioned without references to Gandhi and King, "Civil Disobedience" has more history than many suspect. In the 1940's it was read by the Danish resistance, in the 1950's it was cherished by people who opposed McCarthyism, in the 1960's it was influential in the struggle against South African apartheid, and in the 1970's it was discovered by a new generation of anti-war activists. The lesson learned from all this experience is that Thoreau's ideas really do work, just as he imagined they would.
from the essay:
He who gives himself entirely to his fellow men appears to them useless and selfish; but he who gives himself partially to them is pronounced a benefactor and philanthropist.
How does it become a man to behave toward the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also.
Originally posted by David Weitzman:
MM: Nope. I only meant it from my most grateful perspective. God, as I understand Him, has no need of us. Our lives are a precious gift that we did nothing to deserve.
So if man is not, by nature, more cosmically important than a bar of aluminum, why is the "good luck" theory of existance any less probable than the intent creation one? Unless a Supreme being specifically created life and gave life a definate purpose, we're simply drifting electrons.
The pattern of living things is similar to the pattern of a galaxy. Impressively intricate, but we know that "A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked." It seems perfectly conceivable to me that the aggregation of a series of simple changes throughout time has led to a complex universe.
Beware also that because the word "atheist" has so many shades of meaning, it is very difficult to generalize about atheists. About all you can say for sure is that atheists don't believe in God.
Originally posted by Michael Morris:
I don't suggest that atheists are in any way immoral or unethical. Quite the contrary, I am most amazed at the high ethical values that are held by the atheists I know. Most are better Christians than those who call themselves Christians.
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Actually, it's even more complicated. What parents teach their children is only a start, and how far children will go after... Depends on child's "potential". I do not think development of his/her ideas about morale is too different (although different, yes) from other kinds of development. Like with any school subject, some end up as PhD, and some cannot get even high school diploma in spite of all teaching.
[ June 24, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Originally posted by Manav Mitra:
I haven't read other argumes yet, but speaking for myself, I am yet to fully understand if I am an atheist or not. I would like to believe in god, but there's so much pain, suffering and unscrupolous corrupt people are having fun with all the money... there is no balance... no justice... You see spastic children and really wonder if there is any such thing?
Originally posted by Amitabh Sharma:
On this note I would like to hear your answers to these questions:
Would you tell a child that there is no God?
Would you prefer your child to be an atheist?
Are all atheists pessimists?