The elusive phenomenon of churches without God
- Thu, 17 May 2018 00:57
ONE recent Sunday, about 40 people turned up at their regular gathering place, a community centre in Seattle, and soon found themselves pondering an ethical dilemma: would it ever be right to punch a Nazi? The dicussion was led by a husband-and-wife team, who pointed out that hurting people was usually a bad idea, but that it might sometimes be the only way to protect the innocent. “In a world as imperfect as this one, sometimes the choice is between a number of terrible ideas,” suggested the husband, Mickey Phoenix.
Other recent topics for debate at the Seattle Atheist Church have included the difference between compassion and empathy, and whether or not reparations should be paid to the descendants of American slaves, as argued by the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates in a recent story for Atlantic magazine. Once they have exhausted their discussion, participants can get to know each other over juice and snacks.