People think we atheists pick on Christians too much, but tend to shy away from picking on Muslims. Actually, just about everything we object to, while often directed to some inanity of Christianity, could be easily extrapolated to any religion, because it’s theism that atheists don’t buy into. Christianity is just the most pervasive form of theism on the planet, and a known target. In addition most atheists, if they were once part of a theistic community, were probably Christians, or at least live in a predominately Christian area. There are not a lot of formerly Islamic atheists out there. At least there are not many talking about it, even if they exist.
I think one of the hallmarks of atheism is the quest for knowledge.
That’s a very broad, generalized statement, so let me explain. Atheists, at least the ones I know from the atheosphere and the internet, spend a considerable amount of time studying, parsing, analyzing and generally commenting on religion, and all of its aspects in our culture. We try to understand the subject, and I think we have a very good grasp of religious dogma, or at least enough to discuss it; we know our Bible, and there are many among us that can cite chapter and verse. We are able to discuss intelligently most facets of religious life, from the notion that the United States is a Christian nation, to the effects of religious mindsets on our culture, politics and sexuality.
I must give a plug to an organization I’ve joined here in Central Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Nonbelievers. Last night I was invited to speak to them at their monthly meeting, and for a free meal, I agreed. Actually, I would have done it without the fine culinary compensation, as I found the meeting to be pleasantly enjoyable, and the members quite congenial, despite my initial trepidation brought on by irrational stage fright. I’m used to speaking in a courtroom, or arguing cases before a panel of judges, but addressing a crowd, albeit as cozy and intimate as this was, tucked into the back room of a local restaurant, was still a new experience. But in the end I’m glad they asked me, as I discovered that as long as I’m talking about something I’m qualified to talk about (in this case – me), the term “verbal diarrhea” actually has personal meaning. I needed the humbling experience. It’s good for my
Carl left a nice comment here which I thought I’d respond to in a new post. On my About the Inquisitor page, I set forth a short, cursory couple of paragraphs about myself, but now is as good a time as any, after 50 some posts, almost 200 comments and 12,000 hits, to expound on myself a little more, maybe provide a little understanding as to why I have this blog.
Carl, you unintentionally described my life quite well. We seemed to have shared some common experiences. I suspect we are not alone. I know from talking to other ex-Catholics, and reading comments on Internet Infidels and other blogs, that the Catholic experience is almost universal. It clicks for some, maybe most, but not others. It didn’t click for you. Fortunately, it didn’t click for me, either. Continue reading