Atheism?

Greg Schofield g_schofield at dingoblue.net.au
Sun Mar 10 17:04:21 MST 2002


Jim I could not agree more there is a quolte by Paul when someone challenges whether he spoeaks for christ and he replies - judge me not by what I say but what I do.

Greg

--- Message Received ---
From: "Craven, Jim" <jcraven at clark.edu>
To: "'marxism at lists.panix.com'" <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 13:05:49 -0800
Subject: RE: Atheism?
Response: We should never forget that throughout history there were many
self-identified "religious people" or "believers" (not only Christians like
Dietrich Bonhoeffer) who considered their "sacred beliefs" a mandate not
only for a way of life and a guide to personal choices and behaviors, but
also a mandate to take risks and stands and concrete struggles against
various forms and systems of oppression--and paid horrible sacrifices to do
exactly that.

Someone, I forget who, pointed out that whether theist, atheist or agnostic,
the fundamental question is: What are the practical consequences of your
beliefs? What do your beliefs drive you do to in the real world on real
issues. When someone says to me "I am praying for peace" or "I am praying
for your People", I always answer: "thank you and what else do you propose
to do or how else do you propose to help?". If it is only prayer, well that
may well be for your own benefit and gratification (and redemption) than
anything useful or concrete. Among Blackfoot, for example, prayers are never
a substitute for concrete investigation and action (necessary for
transformation of anything) but rather prayers are used a call to action and
a reminder of being committed to something transcendent--beyond oneself and
ones own immediate wants and needs. In Blackfoot terms, "spirituality" means
being guided and motivated by the "spirit" of something transcendent; that
something could be "Creator", "God", "The Cause", "Supreme Logic"--something
beyond oneself. I would argue that all true Marxists are indeed very
"spiritual" people--noting that spirituality, religion or religiosity are
not synonyms.

Jim C.

_________

Greg Schofield
Perth Australia
g_schofield at dingoblue.net.au
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