Friday, June 27, 2008

The Atheist Thirteen

The Atheist Thirteen is a meme spreading throughout the blogosphere that I saw here and here... and I thought, "Sounds like fun, I'll play!" The idea is for us to find out at least a little bit more about each other in the atheist blogging community.

If you’d like to take part, copy these questions, and answer them in your own words on your own blog (or in a comment on this blog):

Q1. How would you define “atheism”?

The lack of a belief in a god or gods. That's all there is to it.

Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?

Yes, my Mom is Catholic and she raised me and my brother that way. My Dad was completely and totally a-religious, but I don't think he was an atheist. He just never participated in any church activities and never talked about god(s) at all.

Q3. How would you describe “Intelligent Design”, using only one word?


Q4. What scientific endeavour really excites you?

They all do!

Q5. If you could change one thing about the “atheist community”, what would it be and why?

I'm not really sure there is an "atheist community." There are atheists who blog and there are organizations like FFRF, but there isn't a lot to engender community amongst atheists because only trait we are sure to share is the lack of a belief.

That said, I wish more atheists, agnostics, and non-religious folks identified themselves as such more publicly (and could do so without fear of recrimination, but that would require a change to society in general).

Q6. If your child came up to you and said “I’m joining the clergy”, what would be your first response?

I don't have children, but I would encourage him (or her in such cases where women are accepted into the clergy) not to waste their life on the worship of an imaginary being.

Q7. What’s your favourite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?

I have no favorite... they are all ridiculous.

Q8. What’s your most “controversial” (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?

Oh, I'm probably more of a curmudgeon than most atheists... one of my positions that generated some friction is that we should NOT be encouraging everyone to vote. All that does is bring more uninformed voters into the process. We should be encouraging people to become informed and only then to vote!

Q9. Of the “Four Horsemen” (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?

I like Dawkins for his completeness, Hitchens for his writing style, and Harris for his ability to write concisely and briefly... I find Dennett almost unreadable.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?

I don't want to convince anyone to abandon their "beliefs" (belief is a word I have no use for). Instead, I would want to convince all theists to abandon trying to push their beliefs into the political process and onto others who want no part of them!


Ceroill said...

Ok, I'll give it a shot. Let's see...

1- Atheism: Lack of a belief in any deity, often with the extent of 'disbelief', that is a conviction that no deity exists. Somewhat distinct from Agnosticism, which simply states that one has no opinion on the matter, pro or con.

2- In a way. I grew up in a Unitarian Universalist church. There was little concentration on dogma, and a great deal on the inclusiveness of the religion (basic concept: God cannot be completely understood or envisioned by any one person or group, so all visions of the Divine have an element of truth)
3- Silly.
4- Agreed, all are fascinating. Currently I'm quite enamored of Cryptozoology, which I think should have wider acceptance.
5-Is there such a phenomenon? I dunno.
6-I would encourage him to explore whatever avenues interest him, or hold meaning for him.
7-Theisitic or Religious in general? There's a difference. Still, I have no favorites. I don't try to refute people's choices of faith.
8-Controversial? Me?
9-I haven't read any of them, so I couldn't say.
10-I agree with you in this one csm. I have no interest in convincing anyone that their faith is worthless or wrong. If it helps them deal with daily life and be happy, so be it. If they manage to derive inspiration from it, fine.

Um...the title says Thirteen, why are there ten questions?

csm said...

I don't know why there are thirteen, Bob. I had the same question, but couldn't find the answer quickly on the four or five blogs I saw this on... and I couldn't be bothered to research it.