The Atheist,I have tried reasoning with you. Save for your jest at
my ability to reason, you have also been reasonable. However, I constantly must
remind others on here that "reasonable" does not require agreement. It
only requires that one be able to explain their rational- which I most certain
have and can.My main concerns with your initial comment were 1)
knowing your audience 2) that going to a religious venue to argue atheism is a
hostile choice (While I think this paper is LDS, though not exclusively, I even
further would argue that this article is in principle the same as a religious
venue) and 3) I argue that atheism, unlike agnosticism or religion, inherently
is contentious and provoking.I merely recap to suggest that
defending religion on a highly religious paper is not contending. Coming here to
fight religion (as you have here and on multiple articles) is.Your
motivation is something I have no claim to know. If I did, I would be as
nonobjective and disingenuous as one claiming God didn't exist. However, your
motivations aside, your acts on here I have accurately addressed.I
do however, agree with your previously expressed gratitude.
A Voice of Reason,you wrote: To argue against another's
nonobjective experiences only functions as provoking and contentious. If
produces nothing good, only seeking to destroy what others build upon in their
own lives.I think many people post here not to destroy what others
build upon in their own lives, but to enlighten. Just as you may have chosen to
serve a mission and spread your faith, others want to share their ideas in hopes
of making this a better world. The fact that some opinions conflict with your
beliefs doesn't mean someone wants to tear you down. Maybe they are hoping to
bring you a new understanding that will help you take your life to a higher
Voice of Reason,"I'm not trying to pick a fight with
you."You have a strange way of NOT picking fights.How was my offering an atheistic perspective on Thanksgiving a problem, and
NOT in "...the spirit (if you will) of thanksgiving?"Do
believers own the spirit of Thanksgiving? Are atheists not allowed to be
thankful nor to share in expressing thanks?"This is an LDS
Newspaper."No, it is a PUBLIC newspaper/website. If it was
"an LDS newspaper" only for LDS to read, they would make you get a
temple recommend before granting you access to read it.I have
degrees from BYU. I have explicitly stated numerous times that "One doesn't
need God to be thankful." The only comments I read being
"provoking and contentious" here are yours.I simply
expressed my thanks to concrete, specific persons. That is what Thanksgiving is
all about. Your attempts to deny me the right to express my views on
Thanksgiving are hardly attempts to "find common ground" and
"work together."I am not the one who needs to change my
The Atheist,I'm not trying to pick a fight with you. My first reply
was simply my remarking that I feel your argument only denied how well this
article addressed what it intended to, but that you offered a criticism that by
the very nature of this topic, is incompatible with the spirit (if you will) of
thanksgiving.My current reply is merely to try to persuade you to
change your mind. Not on Thanksgiving, or atheism, but on what constitutes as
peaceful.This is an LDS Newspaper. Some ignore this to promote their
arguments; but with so many articles written directly to an LDS audience, such
criticisms are lacking. So, now imagine yourself walking into a BYU classroom
and saying "You're all wrong. One doesn't need God to be thankful."Religion argues either belief or personal subjective experience.
Agnosticism argues a lack of both. Only atheism inherently must always argue
AGAINST the others. Peace requires listening, looking for shared ground, working
together.To argue against another's nonobjective experiences only
functions as provoking and contentious. If produces nothing good, only seeking
to destroy what others build upon in their own lives.Is that not
accurate? I believe it is.
@Bill in Nebraska"I wonder where these men that invented the atom,
the light bulb, gun powder or anything else that we hold dear got the
inspiration from. "Uh... I'd prefer different examples, combine
atoms and a variant of gun powder and you get atomic bombs, a device that surely
is not inspired by God.
Atheist: They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing
with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed
to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully
acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do
therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also
those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart
and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and
Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. This is from the
article. Do you think that you know the heart and mind of Lincoln well enough
to say he was just using popular idioms and phrases? My, are we egotistical!
Re: Bill in Nebraska, I give thanks for the Lord. Thanksgiving
celebrations descend from a meal shared between Massachusetts Pilgrims and
Native Americans in 1621,and Biblical."Eucharist" (noun).
The word is derived from Greek( "eucharistia"), which means
thankfulness, GRATITUDE, Thanksgiving. "The Eucharist" is the
name still used by the Orthodox, Catholics, Anglicans, Reformed/Presbyterian,
United Methodists, and Lutherans.Other Protestant traditions rarely
use this term, preferring either *"Communion","the Lord's
Supper"." The Lord's Supper", Eucharist is used in 1 Corinthians
11:24.ye were called unto the fellowship(*communion) of his Son
Jesus Christ our Lord.(1Cor 1:9). ye might be partakers(*communion) of
the divine nature, ( 2Peter 1:4). It cannot be taken in so literal a sense as to
mean that we can ever partake of the divine "essence," or that we
shall be "absorbed" into the divine nature so as to lose our
individuality. This idea is held by the Buddhists.There must be
forever an essential difference between a created(humans)and an uncreated
Bill,There are no atheists in foxholes?Is that because
it takes a religious person to be a warmonger? To invoke the name of god to
justify violence and forcing other cultures and groups to abide by one's own
esoteric belief system?You may be right. There may be no atheists in
foxholes... if only because there is no reason for atheists to be in foxholes.
Oh how humble! And rightous! And indignant! Without realizing it cuts both
To ThinkIthink: We read that God created everything including us. I wonder
where these men that invented the atom, the light bulb, gun powder or anything
else that we hold dear got the inspiration from. I often wonder how any one can
look out of their window and see the beauty of the earth and not know where this
world was created. I give thanks for the Lord each time because I KNOW that it
comes from a gracious and kind Heavenly Father. I know because it has been
given to me. Yes, as I have said before there are no atheist in a foxhole.
How a supposedly "reasonable" person misconstrued my comment to be
"unfriendly" would baffle even the great Aristotle, whose philosophicl
systems societies have moved beyond some time ago. Perhaps the self-proclaimed
"reasonable" one did not get the memo?
One way to entertain a thought without accepting it is . . . to not accept it -
to entertain the contrary thought. That can actually illuminate the original
thought. So, the thought that disagrees with (or picks a fight with) a
different thought, is simply another thought to entertain. I found The Athiests
post to be a positive, good post. He or she sounds like a good Person. I guess
the question is, can you entertain his thoughts? Can you entertain the notion
that your ideas about God might be wrong . . . seriously entertain - with your
mind fully engaged and open?
The Atheist,You shouldn't confuse the intent or function of this
article with your own belief that deity is a fictional creation.Aristotle said that "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to
entertain a thought without accepting it."I would also argue
that someone seeking to be a more virtuous person, to learn, to better
themselves, etc. independent of any specific moral system- would not only
understand this point Aristotle made, but would strive to entertain the ideas of
others continually for their own self-understanding (as Socrates so well taught)
and improvement. With this, I argue that peaceful discourse requires that we
accept our lack of omniscience and acknowledge that others know, have reasoned,
or think of their own accord. That contending with other beliefs, while
remaining non-omniscient, is inevitably the futile and hostile choice.If you want to pick a fight with those who belief differently, have observed
different experiences than yourself, etc. I normally would argue against
this.But today, I argue that such criticism is only self-serving and
in no way honors the virtue of Thanksgiving.By all means, this
article was more scholarly than your unfriendly comment.
What an honor and privilege it is to be able to tithe to Heavenly Father! I look
back on my life and try to measure my accomplishments against what I could have
done and should have done, and of all the things I've worked and prayed to
accomplish, nothing is so impressive or valuable to me than my part in building
up the Kingdom of Heaven in this simple way. I have not always paid a full
tithe, and when I have, I have not always been grateful for the blessing it is,
so I would never look down on a brother or sister who is struggling with tithes.
I can only say that, now that I'm getting older, I am so very proud to have been
a part of Christ's work. It is a store of joy from which I can draw when the
winter winds begin to blow. We thank thee!
Great article for believers. Still belongs on the opinion page, as it is only
an opinion and is stated as such, and a God can neither be proven nor disproven.
But yet again, the Des News feels the need to put religion in the headlines.
Lincoln certainly used the language of his day, including metaphors and abstract
idioms in which resided the trappings of theistic superstitions chared by the
common folk. To turn Lincoln's metaphors and idioms into an endorsement of
religion is irresponsible and antithetical to scholarship.Having
said that, there is no doubt gratitude is a significant and essential emotion
and healthy state of mind for the human soul.As such, I take this
opportunity to express my gratitude to my Creators: my mother and father, who
gave me life.I express my gratitude to my "Saviors": the
physicians and staff who ministered to me to save me from a dire illness as a
youth.I express my thanks also to those sources of Providence: the
bounty my family and I enjoy because of those who have gone before and built the
institutions that provide the prosperous way of life we enjoy in America. And
this thanks extends to those who, as heroic members of our military, put their
lives in jeopardy in order to protect our way of life from enemies, both foreign
and domestic.[and no god required]
Dennis,When you were a child, did your parents teach you to say
"thank you" after someone did something nice for you?Being
thankful in many ways translates into actions. Many people take and never want
to give themselves. I have experienced in my line of work that I have helped
others and all too often I find that they are unwilling to help themselves. In
many cases refusing to help others even more needy. I've heard things like
"I've got too much on my plate" when at the time I helped them, I had
so much more on my own. That attitude is more than a mentality, it is something
that affects our lives and that of those around us.God 'commanding'
isn't some kind of ruthless dictatorship, but a proclamation of what is morally
right. He commands us to be kind to each other. Is that not conducive of
goodness in any system of morality? Commanding that thankfulness is good and
upright, that we should praise him is something I agree with. My praising Him
isn't blind worship. It's an act of love and devotion to those who've given me
so much. Selflessness and charity aren't imposing.
A perfect being would have no desire to be worshipped. To desire or request
worship of oneself is a sign of an out of control ego, not a perfect being.
Most of us, as very imperfect beings, understand and know that we don't expect
or look for some gratitude or expression of thanks when we give something or do
something for someone; we simply do it to bring joy or fulfillment to another's
life. I can't imagine God, in whatever form it may take, operating at a lower
level than many people on earth operate today. Just an opinion.
The article draws some odd inferences from Lincoln's statement. First, Lincoln
never referred in the statement to God as a "Person." Second, Lincoln
never referred in the statement to God as an "authority." It seems
the author of this article is working hard to twist Lincoln's words to fit his
own concepts of God. I've never read anything by or about Lincoln where he
referred to God as a Person.
This is a great article, and there are many benefits for gratitude. A grateful
heart is a generous heart. Gratitude is a sign of a noble soul, and more. I'm
grateful for many blessings, and for wonderful examples in ancestors and their
connections who contributed to our settlement of this land, and have seen our
nation through many perilous times. President Lincoln and my (Two)
great-grandfather were second cousins, both of whom endured unimaginable trials
during the War Between the States, just as there have been many other tough
times in history. I'm thankful we still have a nation.
I can't imagine God being happy about His children ignoring Him as they count
their blessings. May He keep and bless us all as we take full measure of our
lives. May He grant us strength to overcome, and the compassion to become better
fathers, mothers, husbands, sons, and daughters.
Wonderful piece. A reminder of Him, to whom we owe our thanks, and the purpose
to: Dennis | 9:02 a.m. Nov. 24, 2011 God only wants for us to be
perfect like He is. Gratitude is a form of humility. We worship God because he
created us and loves us perfectly. He has set the plan of salvation for all to
follow if they choose. We cannot change the requirements to get into Heaven and
rightly so. Having faith is a perfect and living God will help to increase our
gratitude for everything he has done and continues to do for us. How blessed we
are to have be loved so much.
We're studying Revelation in Sunday School this month. This morning while
reading I was struck with the realization that, in spite of the goodness of most
of the cited churches for which John was to write, they still had serious sins
needing repentance. The leaders of each of the churches were then, as they are
today, held to a very high standard in order for the members to be able to
function within them in entirely appropriate ways. Mostly good wasn't good
enough. Now, after all, is our time to learn as much as we can about how to live
in worlds of perfection beyond this life, to come to desire Ultimate Love and
all its requirements and blessings through purging ourselves of anything less.
It's not "silly" to learn gratitude. God doesn't become less of
Himself if we don't make the grade. His love is known to those who follow Him,
who come to recognize they cannot bear even imagining eternal life in any other
manner than His own because it equals Divine Happiness. We have earthly
parallels as to how true gratitude, or lack the of it, feels. Why choose the
latter on purpose, or by default?
Too many look upon the commandments of God as restrictions and as sort of
obstacle course through which we must navigate for the amusement of some
incomprehensible being.Scientists are already beginning to
understand the health benefits (both emotional and physical) of being thankful.
God directs us, not to enslave us, but to save us from problems that we could
otherwise avoid.How much better would society be if people respected
God and thus followed his counsel. If youth then respected their parents, if no
one took what didn't belong to them, killed, lied, cheated on their spouses,
rested at least one day of the week and focused on gratitude instead of
bitterness, and of course, the list goes on.I am truly thankful to
God, and not because I am forced to be so.
I'm not sure why any "God" would require imposed gratitude or worship.
It's silly to me.
Thank you for running this article--I am printing if off and bringing it to
share for our Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon!
he forgot to mention that people were starving to death because they couldnt
keep the food they raised, it had to go into a community ;basket; sort of speak,
then that year it ended and people could keep all they raised, there was such
and abundence of food that they had a big feast,and that is where thanksgiving