In response to:

The Atheist Response to Sandy Hook

The Original King Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 11:36 AM
For a bit of background, I consider myself agnostic, but if absolutely pressed, I would fall more on the side of atheism. Having said that, I consider religion to have 2 benefits (1) If it takes a belief in an imaginary man in the sky holding a clipboard to keep you from robbing or killing me, then BY ALL MEANS, believe! and (2) it is VERY clear that in tragic times including the death of a loved one, religion can offer great comfort, which I am 100% for. Now, as an agnostic/atheist, I would NEVER even CONSIDER saying the things in Prager's "quote" (ending in "You'll never see your child again"). Only a truly loathsome person would be that insensitive. So, I'll put it to my fellow posters....have you ever been at a funeral/wake and (cont).
Donjindra Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 11:53 AM
"have you ever been at a funeral/wake and heard anyone say anything like that to a person in pain? This is the type of absurdity that Prager thrives on. "

Exactly. But I have heard this sort of thing from Christians at funerals. It goes something like this: If you grieving people want to see your loved one again you better believe as I do. Otherwise you'll be stuck in hell and forever separated.
The Original King Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 11:38 AM
(cont)........heard anyone say anything like that to a person in pain? This is the type of absurdity that Prager thrives on.
David238 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 11:52 AM
As an atheist I couldn't imagine such a thing. Most atheist that I know would only express the heartfelt sorrow and sympathy that they have for the grieving parents.
The Original King Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 12:08 PM
David........ Correct. Although Prager certainly does not claim that atheists actually DO act in that way, the fact that he would bring it up and attribute that "quote" to them, if they had the honesty of their convictions shows what a knob he can be.
Farmer5 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 12:09 PM
Prager was only saying what an atheist would need to say to be consistent with their world view. Lack of internal consistency between claimed belief and what atheists would actually say by way of consolation was his point. Prager was not suggesting atheists must say his last paragraph just that it accurately sums up the atheistic world view and leaves them with nothing useful to say to the grieving. Well, I suppose they could say “I feel your pain” for what that is worth.
Dean197 Wrote: Jan 15, 2013 1:22 PM
It's worth something. Atheists have everything in the comfort the grieving arsenal except the afterlife speculation, which isn't always as welcome as you might think. The parents know what their beliefs are, and they might not be the same as yours.
Last week the New York Times published an opinion piece that offered atheism's response to the evil/tragedy in which 20 children and six adults were murdered at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.

What prompted Susan Jacoby to write her piece was a colleague telling her that atheism "has nothing to offer when people are suffering."

She wrote the piece, "The Blessings of Atheism" ("It is Here and It is Now!" screams the subhead) to prove her colleague wrong by offering a consoling atheist alternative to religion's consoling belief in an afterlife. Atheists cannot believe that there is any...

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