Are Atheists Fully Human?

Not according to Cardinal Cormack Murphy-O’Connor, recently speaking on BBC radio. Apparently a transcendent relationship with God is an essential part of the human experience, and one without which an individual cannot be fully human.

No word yet on whether the good Cardinal also finds sexuality an essential part of the human condition. One hopes, for the sake of local altar boys, that he is celibate – as indeed the Catholic Church demands he should be. Does he consider that this makes him less than human also, I wonder? I expect the Cardinal would reply that just because he can do something doesn’t mean that he should, or that he simply must.

So how does his abstention from one essential part of human experience somehow make him any more completely human than those who choose to abstain from a different (and much less necessary) part?

Answer: it doesn’t.

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