The reason I enjoy seeing the ranks of atheism grow is because I think there is still way too much superstition in the world. If you take all the religious activity and then add in ridiculous crap like astrology, psychics, Tarot, “woo”, pseudo-science, etc., etc., it adds up to a shit ton of wrong and dangerous thinking. The less of that the better. While atheists are no better and no worse than other people in other respects, when it comes to critical thinking, they outperform the average and then some.
Religion is a gateway drug to an arbitrary and dogmatic world view that tangibly hurts us day after day in countless issues from birth control to foreign policy.
The only reason we talk about atheism at all is because we are a society ridiculously soaked in religion. In many parts of the US it is just assumed that you not only believe in god but that you are a Christian. In many Muslim countries the state and the church are the same thing. It’s practically or literally illegal to be an atheist. So yes, of course we talk about atheism. It’s important.
9 thoughts on “Why I'm happy you are an atheist”
When you say things are based on fact and that is why you believe. You mean things are based on other peoples facts and you choose to believe based on who says these things. If you read a 2000 year old book on science you would be amazed and find a few faults, no?
I am no religious zealot (which you know), I just hear a “bit” of zealotry coming from you on this topic and like to throw a broom handle in the spokes …that is if your wheels have spokes, and room for broom handles..
I believe you were raised Catholic? The sheer history of the Catholic church is a facinating journey of faith and control…often more on control of a populous than anything else. For 100’s of years the most powerful man on the planet was the Pope (still is for millions of Catholics)…at any rate, as I have stated before…IMHO before you trash ‘religion’ (in this discussion christianity) you need to understand more of what you are dismissing…..exactly like my example of “Pluto”….I tossed that off as unimportant…in your words “I trusted an old authority” …but unless christianity to you is as unimportant as pluto is to me, it deserves more understanding.
It to is an education of the mind, the spirit and the soul.
Not that I am “biblical” but if you read it for what it is (a 2000 year old book of letters) instead of reading it from “your fathers ideology” it might make more sense….(actually my readings, the little I do, are focused on getting me to tolerate organized religion…which I still think is 70% a crock of shit…..but then again, organized anything contains significant amounts of shit)
great discussions tho- because they lead everywhere and cover everything.
at one point I believe we made a partial list of our own commandments.
1. don’t fuck with other people
2. don’t fuck with other peoples shit
3. treat others the way you want to be treated.
science is contantly updated….religion should be also…but isn’t…(see radical muslims, christians, budhists….at least budhists just light themselves on fire instead of messing with the entire world)
and to close…
everything is superstition and mythology once you dig into it….no one has the “corner” on anything. (except for those dudes that make really good single malt scotch…they have it figured out)
It’s a word game. I do not believe in Klingons. Am I am a-klingonist? No. We don’t bother defining all the things we don’t believe in. I don’t believe in god because there is no reason to. If there was evidence, I would. There is not so I don’t. That is what an atheist is. Some atheists say “There is no god.” I don’t quite say that, I say what I said above: the theory to beat is that there is no god.
Thinking things are possible does not make you a theist. Do you worship god? Do you think he answers prayers? Did Christ die on the cross for you? There is all sorts of crap that theists believe — do you? Or not.
Acknowledging that there are unknowable things does not make you a theist. If you are not a theist you are an a-theist.
I don’t know why you say that “true atheists”, whatever that means, wouldn’t discuss it. Yes, there are people who don’t care so much they don’t think. I’m not one of those people.
The fact that our knowledge evolves is because of science. That does not mean that science is somehow at fault. You had faith in the sense that you trusted an authority. You did not have faith in terms of believing something without evidence. They are different. The whole thing with Pluto is definitional and not particularly important.
You can call atheism a belief system if you want but you keep missing the most important point: atheists “believe” things with evidence and do not believe things without evidence. That’s it. It’s not complicated, it’s not religion, it’s just adopting a worldview that does not depend on mysticism.
I know you and I know you are a very rational guy and a critical thinker. You are not the “problem” the way some religious people are. I have a lot of respect for your views. But you are still rooted in your father’s theology and it is indefensible once you dig into it. Religion is superstition and mythology. I’m sorry, but it is. You’ll come around some day. 😉
To continue the argument/discussion for sheer entertainment, as I think a true atheist wouldn’t even discuss.
By sheer definition of the word the argument is “nearly” moot.
For a long time I believed that Pluto was a planet.
Apparently Science is also full of fiction as we draw conclusions with fragemented information on topics that we certainly do not understand in their entirety.
I had “faith” that Pluto was a planet, now they say ‘no’ it is not….I believe or I don’t believe? (I have decided to not care…but how many millions of “scientific facts” have proved false, or partially false over the course of history?)
Look up Religion and the various definitions…none of those definitions describe your thoughts on atheism?
I think we can come to common ground with the thought that 90% of all humans are basically “good”….whether atheists, agnostics or one of the many many other reiligions…the other 10% basically ‘dicks up’ everything and should be bitch slapped and placed on dessert islands……
I may not entirely understand what atheism is however, the dictionary definition is “someone who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods”. As I read this, atheists….. by definition….. believe that god does not exist. If this definition is accurate, you may not be an atheist.
As to the value of the discussion, I believe that the God argument does have value in that it inevitably leads to the contemplation of the questions you posed( “why are we here” and “why is here here”). These questions are important and clearly have elements which are not susceptible to scientific answers.
Sorry, fishdweeb, those are the same non-arguments people try to use against atheism. My “evangelicalism” is about believing things with evidence and not believing things without evidence. That is not at all similar to believing some ancient book full of fiction.
If you reread my post, I’m not saying we have a corner on critical thinking, I’m saying that we outperform the average. Atheists almost never believe bullshit like astrology, for example.
And as proof goes, there is way, way, way more “proof” of my belief system than yours. Yours has none and mine requires none.
I would suggest that atheism “is” your religion. We have talked about “belief” systems, we have talked about “faith”. atheism is where you find these things, which is fine…just be careful not to be a ‘flip side zealot’ of those that you find to be ignorant or confused.
ie….becoming an evangelical atheist is different than the evangelical christian how?
to state that atheists have a corner on “critical thinking” just isn’t a logical statement…I believe you have over generalized some very broad topics…
you have no more proof of your belief system than I have of mine. You will never prove that God does not exist. I certainly have no desire to prove to you that he does.
I agree 100% with Levi, “religion should play no part in defining scientific pursuits”….
IMO it is all about “Grace”….if we could all live with Grace (not sondreal) we would be a much better society.
as is the existence of Klingons, Peter Pan and the Easter Bunny. Why are you willing to give god a 50/50 chance of existence?
I agree, there are unknowable things. we don’t know why we are here or why there is a “here” at all. but postulating a universe-creating deity brings us no closer to understanding those questions.
BTW, I don’t claim “god does not exist”. I claim, like most atheists, that there is no more proof of god than there is proof of the Easter Bunny. The theory to beat is that there is no god.
I’m just not a theist. Either are you! 😉
I agree whole heartedly that religion should play no part in defining which scientific pursuits are worthy, or the domestic or foreign policies of our country (or any other country for that matter). That said, I tend to subscribe to a more agnostic bent in that the existance or non-existance of god are both unknowable and unprovable. Both the existance and non-existance of god are equally and infinitely unknowable.