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« "I got to go...I can't be here" | Main | What would you ask the Pope if you could? »

Thursday, December 06, 2012

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Zoe

You do know, that list of atheist art (and their respective artists) is probably too long to fit into this comment box.

I have sincerely enjoyed many of your posts on here, but I do hope you reconsider painting a group of people with a broad brush.

It does not suit your obvious intelligence.

BroKen

Zoe, I would be interested in this list of atheist art. I don't mean just art that is made by an atheist, but art that is specifically and intentionally made to express Atheism. You don't have to give an exhaustive list. Just a few specimens would suffice.

I really don't think I am painting with a broad brush. If I have and you can show me how, I will apologize and retract what I've written. I think that I'm just asking some questions that arose while thinking about Steve Martin's funny song.

Zoe

Well, art encompasses a great many mediums as I am sure you are aware of. What is out there in terms of atheistic modern art is decidedly on the spectrum of hateful or humorous, depending on your take.

One artist that comes to mind (that you may be familiar with) is Picasso, but for him to have produced art that explicitly expresses atheism as you stated, that is another matter. Guernica is a favorite of mine. It isn't pretty by common standards, but it is a disturbingly vivid expression of life during war.

I find that art through the ages has been censored more often than not by the religiously (or politically) zealous. So common sense would dictate to us that we cannot be completely sure as to what could have been there if not for this type of censure? But that is changing in modern times, albeit slowly.

"Why is the best art created by people who express the joy of giving themselves to something higher than themselves?"

A lot of things in nature, as well as nature itself, can be seen as something higher that the artist. Regardless of that artists theological views (or lack thereof) I am not saying that there are not atheists who think they themselves are the beginning and end of it all, I am saying that is not true for all atheists, and I am hoping that you see that.

Zoe

Hope I am not responding too soon

But since my last comment, I actually was perusing through some secular and atheistic art today online, and found a gem on Youtube by Iris DeMent, entitled 'Let the Mystery be' and it pretty much sums up this theme for me in a proverbial nutshell.

So it seems that we do in fact, have songs :)

Mr. Bob

Yes, the questions you ask are good. So often the Christian is expected to defend their worldview. We need to ask our atheist friends questions about their worldview as well.

How did beauty evolve? How does the atheist define evil? What is the point of reference and what is love? Where is the source of reference for forgiveness? Why is justice required? How does one get intelligence from chaos?

Without God, what is morality other than personal perspective or social contract? Do we need the atheists personal perspective any more than our own? And is the atheist really in a position to tell us what a socially agreed set of morals should be? What is the meaning of life? What is our final destiny? Have you ever met a hedonist who at the end said it was all worth it?

All humans seek meaning, in something; we seek for and long for meaning. And pleasure + good works + materialism + being good does not provide enough meaning to satisfy.

Yet the Holy Scriptures can answer all of these questions as Ravi Zacherias reminds us, and, there is only one place in time, one place in history, where all of these things converge, and it was at the cross of Calvary. It is there where we have the evil of man, the justice of God, the love of Jesus, and the forgiveness of sins, witnessed and explained.

Zoe

That is true, Mr. Bob, these are questions you should and can ask, but hopefully you will run across a person who is honest in their introspect and basically not out to demean or deride someone of faith.

The Christian is expected to defend not so much their worldview but their beliefs. Since the burden of proof lies on them to prove their claim that the god they believe in is real, or in fact the 'correct' one.

I think that after reading several of broKen's posts, I find that we actually agree on a lot of things. This is something that as I get older, I find occurring with a lot of folks that I may have thought initially I would have little in common with. Hence my reason to peruse these types of sites.

I just think we arrive at different hypotheses on what the origins of all that exists is in actuality. It's just a simple self introspective honesty.

chuck aka xtnyoda

A good bit of what Hollywood produces is considered art by some. :-)

Zoe

Lol, that is true Chuck,

but whether it is 'good' art or just garbage is debatable..and unfortunately the 'good' art seems to be few and far in between.

Or maybe that is not such a bad thing..

BroKen

Zoe, thanks for your kind words and sorry that I've taken so long to respond. Also, thanks for the link to Iris DeMent. I think I had heard her name before, but I'd never heard her music.

The song "Let the Mystery Be" is lovely and contains a lot of wisdom. But I don't think you could properly call it an "Atheist Hymn." I mean, she sings, "Some say they're goin' to a place called Glory and I ain't saying it ain't a fact." Perhaps "Agnostic Hymn" would fit better.

I would also point out that when she sings "Some say you rest in the arms of the Savior if in sinful ways you lack." she is expressing a common misconception. If she is referring to Christianity (and I think that is pretty clear) then she should sing, "if from sinful ways you turn." But, of course, that wouldn't rhyme!

And finally, the line, "no one knows for certain and so it's all the same to me." is a bit of a cop out, isn't it? Similar things could have been said, (and probably were) about every modern science from astronomy to medicine. It is the passionate plea of the faithful that the questions of God's existence and the existence of a Savior are not merely academic. Upon them hinge life and death, even eternal life and death. "...without faith it is impossible to please him [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

BroKen

Oh, another point about mystery occurred to me but it didn't make it into that last comment. That is that answers to mysteries do not eliminate mysteries. In my experience, every time there is an answer, that answer raises five more deeper and even more interesting questions that were inconceivable without the first answer. The answer to one of those five raises five more mysteries. Mysteries grow exponentially... if you seek answers. If you are content with the mysteries you know, they will never grow.

Zoe

You are welcome broKen,
and yes, as a former Christian I can see that point, and you would be correct.

I suppose that song could actually represent both agnosticism as well as atheism (which in my opinion, most non believers are a good dose of both, if they are truly honest and introspective about it) Hence my choice.

I find that Hume comes to mind when discussing the idea of god and gods with the faithful, when he stated that, 'reason is a slave to passion' Something that could very well be stated about many believers and non believers alike. It may depend on the individual passion.

And despite the misconception that most non believers are uneducated or misunderstanding of scripture or religion you will find that most have simply rejected it. It sounds harsh and contrite, but it's not all that different (in my opinion) than the rejection a person of any faith has with an opposing faith. Sometimes no further education in something is needed if someone has formed their opinion about it. Just like when they do accept an opinion, they will build all kind of facts and evidence to support it.


And in case you were wondering, for me personally, that search led to more questions as you stated and none of the answers were logical to me. So I guess you could say that my heart was unable to accept what my head rejected. I don't know what will happen tomorrow as no one does, but insofar as the present, that is where I stand.

I have no quarrel with religious folks, and try my best to not sound or conduct myself in the way that some religious folks (not all) have conducted themselves with me. I am not out to discredit them or censor them and distance myself from those who do. I know what a deep subjective experience religion is for some people's psyche, and those who call themselves humanists will truly acknowledge that as well. Unfortunately, they let their defensiveness get the best of them and fail to think rationally as well as passionately.

Keep up the good work on your blogs. You do a very good job.

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