Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts - Theme: atheism

This Week's Theme: atheism
"Atheism is a way of humility. It's to think oneself to be an animal, as we are actually and to allow oneself to become human." - André Comte-Sponville
"When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?" - Quentin Crisp

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen Roberts

     Calculate Your God Delusion Index sparked a good deal of conversation within its comments last week. That partially inspired me to pick this theme, alongside finishing The God Delusion a few days ago. If you haven't read it yet, you should.

     If you want to read a thorough explanation between Atheism and atheism—and actually the only one I can find that's written out and not just a thought in someone's head—check one out here.


JoeyRes said...

It seems cool in our society not to believe in God. I went through a lot of struggles in my teens and early twenties about faith. "I believe in something, I just don't know what..." "I don't believe in organized religion...." and all that.

The sooner you can open your mind to the great things faith and religion can do for you, the better off you'll be. Now I'm 29, very involved in church. I have this whole community of people who think I'm the bees knees. It's like having 100 extra grandparents that think I'm awesome.

And Jesus loves me.

I can't understand why people don't want that.

I don't remember why I didn't want that.

Anonymous said...

Are you an atheist?
I'm one of those annoying flimsy agnostics.
But to each their own, right?
Except Muslims! I'm not against their religion or anything, I'm against one guy marrying like twenty chicks.
Apparently the reason nearly all suicide bombers are Muslim is because there's so many unmarried men with no chance of ever finding a mate in this life that they'd rather go find the 72 virgins in heaven.
...Good luck with that.

nicole. said...

Also the difference between Atheism and atheism was really well stated in Dan Barker's novel Godless

Alexis Mullino said...

@ JoeyRes: I agree with your first statement. Disbelieving in gods does have a "cool factor" in America's younger society. I'll be the first to admit, I was a practitioner of this juvenile behavior, but when I was of a much younger age than I am now (around twelve to thirteen). I hated the Christian God because it was what I was personally familiar with, it was advocated by the music I listened to and by my fellow friends who all knew as little of religion as I did, among other things. However, "hating" the Christian God still acknowledged that he existed, which he does not by any proof I, or anyone else on the planet has witnessed.
Now I have an understanding of what I believe and don't believe— and why. I do not believe in gods because I believe in evolution. I believe in fact, proof. I believe in science, and it often brings me to tears to think of the gloriously magnificent things science has shown me.

I completely understand the love of a community that loves you all the same, and I have that too! However, mine is the atheist community, or the freethinkers community, whatever you wish to title us. The truly beautiful thing is that we love each other because we simply love. We care because we simply care. And those simplicities among others are all explained through science.

@ Alice: Yes, I am an atheist. You used the word "flimsy" which makes me wonder if you already know the true meaning of agnosticism; either ignorance by lack of fact, or fence-sitting with uncertainty. I must recommend The God Delusion to you personally, I think you might especially benefit. There's even a chapter or section (I cannot recall from memory how far it spans) on agnosticism.
Please do not take my response with offense, there was a time where I couldn't define the difference between agnosticism and atheism, haha!

I can understand your irritation with Muslims, based on what you believe. However, Muslims aren't the only religious people that practice polygamy, many Christians, Jews, etc. do as well, it might just be more apparent with Muslims because America would rather attack "outside religions" rather than their own. Also, not all suicide bombers are Muslims, but I wouldn't doubt that the idea you presented about them not finding mates being the reason for their suicide being fuel for their fire for committing. Still though, this can rule for anyone of any religion unable to find a mate.

@ nicole.: I had no idea! Thank you for the suggestion, I will add it to my list of to-read. :)

Samuel said...

JoeyRes- My reply: Some people think religion should be evaluated on it's "truthiness" (to borrow a word from Stephen Colbert) and not on their music and coffee hour.

Alice - you clearly don't understand Islam. I could go on a long speech but I'll just put it this way. If you take Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and make the generalization that all Christians believe and act the same way you do - well then you've committed the "Hasty Generalization" fallacy. If you actually read Muslim scholars and the Qu'ran, "suicide" of any form is forbidden. You'll find wacko extremists in any religion - I don't know why you need to single Islam out.

The reason Muhammad allowed polygamy was because in early Arabian desert society - widows didn't have access to WIC and food stamps. It was a means of ensuring unmarried women would be taken care of.

While by today's standards, the Qu'ran might seem low on women's rights, it was actually a huge step forward for 6th century Arabia. Perhaps you should study a religion before hating it.