- Because I was BORN an atheist. Two people I loved unthinkingly indoctrinated me into believing in something that didn’t exist. Key word – “unthinkingly”. The state of my knowledge at birth was the correct one.
- Because religion, super-naturalism, has never explained anything. From the very beginning of civilization to the present, whenever religion has tried to explain previously mystifying natural phenomena (from lightning through mental illness to the size of the universe) it has always gotten it wrong. Always. It has not been right yet, and the odds are it will never be right, if we ever get to the point in human knowledge where we know everything.
- Because religion is an inherently anti-human phenomenon. I’m a human, not a spirit. Religion explains spirits. There are no spirits, and there’s never been any evidence of spirits. As a human, there is a natural, logical way to treat other humans, and it does not involve burning them at the stake, making them believe what I believe at the point of a blade, or flying airplanes into buildings. Religion is cruel and inhuman, in almost all aspects of its justifying rationalizations.
- Because I don’t need religion to be a good person.
I’ve been drawn into an interesting discussion on a few other blogs. It started the other day while watching the TODAY show as I dressed for work. Matt Lauer had his panel of “experts” addressing controversial topics of the day, and one of them involved “outsourcing” Christmas obligations, like shopping, card sending etc, and the propriety of doing so. In the course of the conversation, Nancy Snyderman said she didn’t like the religious element of Christmas, in effect, it’s what ruins it for her. It was a short exchange, not well fleshed out, but it was clear there was a disagreement between Star Jones, who felt “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” while Snyderman did not.
This’ll be short (I think).
Paul Ryan wants the Obama administration to explain why the Democratic platform doesn’t include the word “God” in it.
Is he fucking serious?
“It’s not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision. I’d guess you’d have to ask the Obama administration why they purged all this language from their platform.”
The Opinion was surprisingly written, for the most part, by Chief Justice Roberts, joined in various parts by Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer and Ginsburg (the latter of who wrote the concurring opinion. Roberts opinion said:
The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.
Atheists are often accused of being too outspoken, too militant, to strident. Our mere presence in society offends many people, all of them religious in one way or the other. Our existence is a reminder that the religious worldview is not the only one, that there is some possibility that they might be wrong about their beliefs in the supernatural, which beliefs forms a major component of how they deal with the day to day exigencies of life. We’re simply telling them that their beliefs, their vision of reality, could be wrong. Since there is an underlying current of insecurity in those beliefs, we make them nervous.
Remember the book? Written by John F. Kennedy before he became President, the one for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1957? Yes, I know there was some talk about the possibility that he didn’t write it himself, or that he had at least a lot of help. Doesn’t matter. It set a tone in the country for the emulation of Americans who rise above their duties, against overwhelming pressure, to do what’s right. Maybe it is blown way out of proportion, but the ideal is still one we should admire.
No, this is not my Martin Luther King moment.
Did you ever have a dream from which you awoke that you felt was full of some monumental wisdom, something you never would have thought of in any of your waking moments, and you felt that you ought to get right up and put the dream to paper, knowing full well if you rolled over and went back to sleep, you’d completely forget it in the morning? And once you do, and you’ve had your second cup of coffee, and you analyze it, you realize it’s not only NOT a very monumental bit of thinking, it’s not even rational, and what made you even think it was so profound?
Well, technically, that’s not true. What I’m trying to say is that atheism is just one small component of what I am, what describes my worldview, my personal philosophy, my attitude towards life and how I now choose to live it. A better word, one more encompassing, though a bit verbose, would be ASUPERNATURALIST. I don’t believe in the idea, the concept of the supernatural.
I spent so many years thinking all these silly vestments, and hats, and rituals, and incense and ringing bells and holy days all meant something. But it’s all just a way to make the flock feel like there is some significance to the equally silly pretensions underlying all religion. It’s just an elaborate smokescreen to paint a veneer of respectability over a much more insidious process happening outside our view.
Here’s something that’s been bugging me, so allow me a little rant.
It seems like every time an atheist makes a comment about some aspect of religion that bugs them, they are quite forcefully and specifically told to shut up. Religion is not a topic one is supposed to discuss in polite company (along with politics and sex, and we know how often that rule is broken). Atheists are made to feel like every time they criticize theism, they are stepping over some boundary of propriety. Due to my upbringing, I often find myself gauging the sensibilities of my listener to see if I might offend them, but I notice that never does a Christian (I don’t have much contacts with Hindus, Muslims and members of other religions) stop and think before they “thank god” or “god bless me” or otherwise inject their religious beliefs into a conversation.