Downright insulting To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
March 14, 2002

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Brother Mark Nigel James is right about what he has "truly learnt" - there is nothing like atheism in our hearts; atheism is the product of our human brain.

Atheists are people who are responsible for and accept the consequences of their own action. They do not expect a God to get them out of trouble; they do not blame a devil for getting them into trouble. Atheists neither expect a reward, nor do they fear punishment after death. They pay scarce attention to and are not inclined towards debating religious fundamentalists whom they regard as irrational.

How does one become an atheist? In her book, "Philosophy: Who needs it," Ayn Rand wrote: "A philosophic system is an integrated view of existence.

As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation - or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined convictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears."

Perhaps too, many people opt for atheism after reading illogical letters to the press.

Brother Nigel says that we are all born with a "God given instinct" to bless the eternal "King of the Universe." The atheist, Ernestine Rose has an opposing view. She says, "It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so."

Why not take up the challenge, Brother Nigel? The next time you happen upon a four year old ask him or her if God exists. If the kid says yes, ask if this is because God is being felt "instinctively" or if this was told to the kid by mommy, daddy, the Sunday school or catechism class teacher.

Brother Nigel does not tell us who is the "King of the Universe" even though he warns us we should bless the king's "awesome name" (SN March 12th). Really, brother, how can I bless His name if you don't say
what it is?

The brother went on to say that by not blessing this unnamed king our hearts will become like a vacuum (no, not a vacuum cleaner) and will substitute "things" like women, wealth, sex and politicians. Now brother, really, you shouldn’t refer to the fairer sex as "things," it's downright insulting. Shame on you . . .

I have a wife, a mother and sisters and I assure you, they are not mere "things."

Now, what's wrong with a bit of sex? Didn't God, in the Garden of Eden, instruct that we do this "thing"? Oh, you mean adultery, fornication and promiscuity! Then why didn't you say so? You had me worried for a while... no sex!!?? Goodness gracious, heaven will be empty or filled with eunuchs!

And this "thing" called wealth, since when was this prohibited by God? I'm sure the brother is more than familiar with the Old Testament and with what God lavishly rewards those who are loyal to him. He provides a promised land, many tents and bountiful sheep and goats. Apparently, in the desert stored wealth is not subject to moth, rust and thieves.

Now as for politicians, well no argument there, they are truly "things."

But brother, I am puzzled; I gather that when a man gets to heaven he will be able to bless the King's "awesome name" twenty four hours a day, seven days a week (if time exists in heaven) and therefore will no longer (to use your term) have to "substitute" women anymore. What, might I ask, will become of these "substitute things" called women when man is reunited with his God, the King?

Atheism does not mean the absence of religion; it means a lack of belief in a god or gods. There are many religions which do not have Gods, or if you prefer, a "King" with an awesome name. Buddhism is one

such religion. Tell me, Brother James, will Buddhist monks, who do not "bless His awesome name" have their hearts transmuted into "vacuums" and will they indulge in orgies of sex, wealth and politics and use women as "substitutes"?

I humbly advise that letters to the press, which endures intense public scrutiny, should at least attempt to make some sense. I strongly believe that religious preaching should be done in its proper place - the church. Or maybe Brother Nigel, is attempting to espouse The Divine Command Belief which posits that God is the author of moral law. That would make an interesting discussion. But before anyone rushes to respond first ask yourself: Can an atheist be an honest, kind, loyal and moral person? Oh, and think of the Buddhist monks before you answer.
Justin DeFreitas