Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ask Mike, Atheism 101 Edition

I was asked a rather lengthy question by P. Martin in the comments of my last post and while I answered it there I found it worthy to pull to a more prominent place for all to see. As it is long and multi-part I will break it down, placing each answer in an indented paragraph.

"I have some questions about atheism. Maybe you know the answers."
First let me be clear, atheism is a rather broad category that merely implies lack of belief in a deity. My answers here stem from scientific atheism, or in the words of Richard Dawkins, Einsteinian Religion.
Q: Do atheists believe in ghosts, vampires, zombies, returning from the dead, etc.?
A: Using the strict definitions of those words no. I will caveat that there are many strange and well documented phenomenon which to this point science has not fully explained. I like to use the rule that when one hears hoof beats he should think horses, not zebras. To me it is the zebra syndrome when one labels something supernatural before eliminating the natural possibilities.
Q: Do atheists believe in any form of life after death?
A: No. There is no scientific evidence to support such a conclusion.
Q: Do atheists believe that if they kill someone and nobody ever finds out, then it’s ok?
A: To claim morals come from a belief in a god is horridly irresponsible. "Thou shalt not kill" existed long before Judeo-Christian theology. If I were to follow the morals laid out by the God of the Bible I would have to stone my child to death for disobedience, my wife would have to wear a veil and not speak unless spoken to, and I could explain away killing my first born by saying God made me do it. Belief in God does not equal having a solid moral code and disbelief in one does not mean lack of moral direction. In the atheist doing that which is right is intrinsically good and is not done out of fear of reprisal from a vengeful bearded old guy in the sky.
Q: Do atheists capitalize the name “Hitler”, but not the name “God”?
A: The name God refers to a specific deity also known as Allah, Elohim, Yaweh, and a myriad of other names by the big three monotheistic religions. The word god is not in and of itself a proper name as it could refer to any mythological being in the pantheon of gods and therefore, as it is not a proper noun, does not require capitalization. Hitler is on the other hand the proper name of a genocidal maniac.
Q: Is there an atheist spell-checker that ignores this “error”?
A: As it is in fact NOT an error, all spell-checkers should ignore it. Google toolbar does. Microsoft word as well.
Q: Do atheists think Hitler was a jerk, but only because he believed in a God?
A: Hitler was a jerk because he killed millions who believed differently than he did including gays, Jews, gypsies, and many Christians. He used God as justification for killing millions of people. If we look at the crusades and the Inquisition we see the same thing, God used to justify genocide. The book of Joshua in the Bible is filled with God induced genocide. Genocidal maniac = Bad guy, no matter what his justification.
Q: If atheists don’t believe in God, why do they care if anyone else believes in God? (I don’t believe in little green men from mars, but I could give a shit if you do)
A: I only care when that belief is used to justify wars, prejudice, or arcane laws with no basis in reality. Religion is a dangerous drug. Like other drugs, most addicts do little harm to others but the ones who do make it wise to rid the world of them entirely.
Q: During sex do atheists ever say “Oh God, I’m gonna’ cum!”?
A: Yes. At least I do. Beats "Oh science, I'm gonna cum!" doesn't it?
Q: When angry, do atheists ever say “God damn it!” or “Go to hell!”?
A: I use "Oh, God" and "God damn it" because "Oh, science" and "Reality damn it" just don't carry the same potency.
Q: Do atheists ever see the image of Christ on a bagel or a slice of toast?
A: No, but I once saw a Cheeto that looked like the Pope's hat.
Q: Do atheists never feel like “somebody up there” is watching out for them?
A: Every time I hear about Bush's NSA policies.
Q: Do atheists celebrate Christmas, take a Christmas vacation, or accept a Christmas bonus? If so, why?
A: I do. So does Richard Dawkins. Christmas has been a secular/pagan holiday for much longer than it was a Christian one. Jesus was just shoved in as an attempt to convert the pagans. Does anyone really still believe the man called Jesus was born in December? Really?
Q: When testifying in a court of law, are atheists required to swear on a bible?
A: Only truly backwards jurisdictions would force someone to swear on a book of fairy tales.
So kids, that about sums up our Ask Mike for today. Tune in next time when I tackle the question, "If I melt dry ice, can I take a bath without getting wet?" Until next time remember to smile, it makes people wonder what you are up to.

1 comment:

JC said...

I am with you all the way.

I prefer to think of myself as an anti-theist, along the lines of Prometheus...

I have a question for P.

Are these actual, serious questions on your part?

I only ask because they seem stunningly ill-informed... so much so that they were funny. (in a scary, is he for real? kind of way)

oh yeah,
Atheists (at least this one) also say "bless your heart" when we think you might be a moron...

This was such fun, Maybe I'll put a new anti-god post up over at my site- I've moved to jeffcraft.us
check it out.