Atheist Blogroll

After more than three and half years of posting, I've finally joined Mojoey's Atheist Blogroll. You can find it in the sidebar. Please consider checking it out.



Anonymous said...

I haven't read all of your blogs so you might have answered this already. If so, could you refer me to the blog-answer?
Why choose atheism as an alternative to being catholic? I left the southern fundamentalist religion of my upbringing in my 30's, but still don't understand how people can know for a fact that there is no god. I'm agnostic. I don't know if there is or isn't a god. I don't care. I don't see any possible way for anyone to know. I see atheism as the extreme opposite end of fundamentalism, "100% sure there is no god" vs. "100% sure there is a god".
I've got an uncle that teaches philosophy at college, and he's atheist, but all his "logic"is still just rhetoric because we humans don't even understand our own biology completely....why,then, do we attempt to understand the universe beyond our atmosphere? And then to "believe" that something like a "god" couldn't possibly exist...sounds like a religion all over again. Why does it matter if there is or isn't a god, or aliens, or other life forms.....?

Secular Planet said...

I'm not sure that I've addressed your concerns directly so I'll do so briefly here.

I've never meet any atheist who claimed 100% certainty that there couldn't be any gods. Maybe there are some, but they mostly exist as strawmen created by apologists and preachers. A weak atheist doesn't even have a belief that gods don't exist. A strong atheist has a belief that gods don't exist, but that doesn't imply absolute certainty. It can be an opinion like that of deist who looks at the evidence and thinks a god exists, and isn't sure.

Now, we can be sure that some gods, as specifically defined, don't exist because they violate the principle of internal consistency (e.g., a round square) or reject them as not defined at all (e.g., my god is very skawely and vinodous). I feel that way about anything supernatural. If it interacts with matter, it's matter, not spirit. If it doesn't interact with matter at all, then it's the same as not existing, so we couldn't know anyway.

I didn't "choose" atheism. After my belief in the supernatural was gone, that's what was left behind. I think there are no gods. That makes me an atheist.

Anonymous said...

Got it.
I have only come across atheists that say they are as sure that there is no god, as they were once sure there was a god. So, maybe that's the problem. Most people I've talked with really believe that there is absolutely no god. So,for yourself,why not be an agnostic? I find most people go directly to atheist, and skip over agnostic as an open minded choice that leaves room for discovery and possibility. And I think it's a choice that accounts for human limitations to what our eyes and brains can actually comprehend. We can't see germs with our naked eyes, but they exist.....etc. It's possible with advanced instrumentation, a god will be seen some day ;) And it might not be anything akin to the teachings of human religion.
I guess I'm just wondering why people prefer the word atheist over the word agnostic.

Secular Planet said...

Again, my experiences are different from yours. Most deconversion stories I've read include an agnostic stage.

Technically, agnostic and atheist refer to different things, so you can be both. (You can even be an agnostic theist - a person who believes in gods but doesn't claim certainty). But in common speech, "agnostic" refers to someone who doesn't have an opinion whether god exists because they claim not to know enough.

I'm not an agnostic because I do have an opinion, that no gods exist. Every god I've ever seen claimed was (1) self-contradictory, (2) undefined, (3) lacking in evidence, or more than one of these. I'm not agnostic with respect to gods for the same reason I'm not agnostic with respect to elves, faeries, and Superman.

Just because I'm not 100% sure doesn't mean I should refrain from expressing my opinion. It certainly doesn't stop any theist. I don't think you'd tell them not to call themselves Christians, etc., since they don't have 100% proof.