On atheism

September 30th, 2008 § 0 comments

I’ve just read this post by Dave Cross about the Royal Society’s ex-Director of Education, Michael Reiss , being labelled a creationist and hounded out of his position within the Royal Society because of his comments regarding the need for teachers to be given better training to be able to discuss and counter creationist arguments in the classroom.

And now, three weeks later, a national newspaper is calling him a creationist.

The article in question is this one by Harry Kroto. I didn’t read the article as, well I couldn’t be bothered really, but went straight to the comments.
That is where I found this little nugget of wisdom:
JK47 (a CiF commentor):

The plethora of more-or-less incompatible religious concepts that mankind has invented from Creationism and intelligent design to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Scientology, Hinduism, Shinto, Shamanism etc, are all basically indistinguishable, from the freethinkers perspective.

You forget Atheism, as it is also another concept of mankind (for how can it be a natural state?) that is also indistinguishable from all those ideologies. It has a militant belief that there is no God, an organised following and the acceptance of a set of values that cannot be questioned.

I do not who wrote the bit AJ47 is quoting but I don’t reckon atheism got forgotten.
Atheism is not a concept of mankind, it the natural state. God and everything that surrounds the myth of god is manmade. If believing in god was how the human mind starts off, then why do ‘we’ have to teach about religion? Why do we have to introduce the idea of a god or superior being to our offspring? Why do children have so much trouble grasping the idea of a being or beings (thousands in the case of Hinduism) that are everywhere, controlling everything yet cannot themselves be seen or heard? Why do children have so many questions when, if religion is so natural, it shoudl be an easy concept to pick up?

The natural state is to be inquisitive, to want to find out, learn more. About everything.
Religion is shut off to finding the truth, even if it proved god existed.

“I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”

“But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. Q.E.D.”

“Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

No matter how open or comfortable a particular brand of god is with science looking into atoms or buggering about with genes, there will always be a point where it will not go beyond. Not because of any reasoned arguement, although one may be put forward as a proxy or as well as, but because of dogma. Either because the holy book explicitly forbids it, or because it will insult god or because the men of cloth will lose their authority and their income. That will be it.
On the other hand, science will keep going. Every now and then a particular path of research may slow or stop for a little while because of the precautionary principle or the uncomfortable subject matter, but only until a compromise that is acceptable to both the scientists and the wider community on how to proceed is reached. The point is, nothing is taboo.

There are atheists that will catagorically state that god doesn’t exist, but what do they know? They are just the flip side to the religious people who catgorically state that there is. But most athiests, and that is pure conjecture as I have nothing to back it up, are of the ‘middle ground’, that they don’t believe in god, but if there was proof that god existed then they would accept it (what other option is there?).

The last bit of AJ47s’ comment is just complete rubbish, “an organised following” with a set of values “that cannot be questioned”.
What utter bollocks.
Where is this Church of the Unbeliever, where do we go to praise the microscope? How many people do you know that gather together on a weekly basis to sing songs of thanks to the LHC?
What is this set of values that all atheists’ adhere to? Are they listed somewhere? Who says atheists must follow them? The Grand Council of Atheists, I presume?
Questioning stuff is the whole point of atheism. Asking why, and not taking anyones word for it unless they have proof.

Of course, that is just my view, other atheist may differ. That’s the beauty of it.

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