Ludovic Kennedy:The Ancients, wrote the philosopher John Locke in 1689, had no beliefs in a personal god, and about the same time French missionaries seeking converts were finding godless societies living contentedly all over the world.
The Indians of the Gaspe peninsula, wrote Chretien Le Clerq, had never formed a conception of any divinity but were charitable beyond anything in Europe, while the Jesuit Le Jeune found the natives of Cap Breton “exceptionally clever, honest and decent, very generous with a cheerful disposition”, but also godless. And the Dominican Jean-Baptiste du Tertre whose church had warned him he would find black atheists in the Antilles to be depraved found otherwise.
“The love they have for one another is extremely tender… they assist each other in all their illnesses and cannot see their companions mistreated without feeling their pain.” Similar discoveries were made in Thailand, China and Japan.
Would that such societies still existed today. But wherever one looks there is conflict: Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland; Jews, Christians and Muslims in Palestine; Muslims and Hindus in the Indian subcontinent; Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Is not the case for atheism made?
AboutThis is an unfocused catch-all personal blog written by a South African environmental journalist living in Cape Town. My professional blog is Leaves of language.
Random and best posts
- How to use as little cellular data as possible when tethering to your cellphone
- Misleading claims from 1 Life
- Being cheated by Afrihost ISP
- Resolving problems with Airport Express (first generation)
- WD passport drive not visible or mounting
- Airport Express not connecting to wifi network
- Buddhism and economics
- How to fight South African spam (uninvited bulk email)
- A care plan for living with bipolar depression – how you can help
- Notes on bipolar depression
- Bipolar disorder and why we hate taking the pills
- @Dropbox WTF? My Paper docs just not loading, whether in browser or iOS. 1 day ago
- Sweden’s biggest pension fund #divests cleantechnica.com/2017/06/18/swe… #climatechange 1 week ago
- @CapeTownTrains Violence wrong, but this what happens when you treat customers with contempt as you do. news24.com/SouthAfrica/Ne… 2 weeks ago
Everything that’s here