I was interested to read an article - 'We are made for more' - by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor in today's Guardian. It reads very much like a plethora of articles written in the past year or so by christians defending their faith. Like the other articles I have read it smacks of desperation and dishonesty. Why dishonest? - because it contains the usual patronising stock canards about atheists. We are militant fundamentalists, we deny the wonder of the universe, we are empty materialists, without god there is no purpose etc... But I'm not like that and no atheist I've ever met - and there are many of us - is like that. Nor is the arch-atheist Richard Dawkins. If you read his bestseller the God Delusion you'll see that for yourself. So what is going on here? - simply the decline of religion and the power that it has over us. That is the cause of the desperation and what really scares the likes of Murphy O'Connor.
In the article he describes how a Catholic nurse cares for HIV/Aids victims. How many of the HIV/Aids sufferers lovingly tended by Sister Margaret McAllen would have contracted HIV/Aids if they had used condoms? He says that - 'Her faith' is apparently 'no obstacle to the most horrendous facts". Unfortunately he is unable to face up to the simple truth that the Catholic church is responsible for many of those 'horrendous facts'. Just as he is unable to face up to the fact that atheists do believe we that have a purpose - a purpose which is to build a better world, free from the self-serving, sanctimonious claptrap which he espouses.