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Entry 25 – Just one more…I promise…shout out for defining ‘atheism’

February 18, 2010

As you already know, I’m a fan of the ‘A Moment in Reason’ podcast as well as The Misanthrope’s Journal (see ‘Sites of Note’ to your right).  Recently the AMIR podcast tackled a mundane, yet important topic of defining atheism and its many iterations of understanding to as many iterations of people.  I thought it was worth a mention as I don’t think I’ve heard a more succinct discussion of the ‘what to call ourselves’ controversy surrounding ‘atheism’ and ‘agnosticism’.  Gene, the host, does a wonderfully deft job of explaining how someone can be both an agnostic and atheist at the same time, and also ‘turns the tables’ so to speak on the theists who would think their position superiour to an agnostic or atheist in terms of ‘moral high ground’.  If you have any etiological doubts about how you refer to your faith or lack there of, this podcast is worth a listen. 

Click HERE to get to the episode.

On another note, The Misanthrope sent me a link to a newspaper article defending the aforementioned ‘moral high ground’ for atheists.  It’s written by Donald Clegg at the Spokesman-Review and the following is an excerpt:

“Does anyone really think that the abandonment of a faith or belief in God, for instance, suddenly causes a person to lose all moral conviction, to become rootless, without principle? Fidelity is simply what remains after faith (in its conventional sense) is abandoned.

This is the shortest defense of pure atheism I can offer, one which I think is sufficient to the task, as it’s not my main concern” …MORE

Please click HERE to go to the full text of the article.

Kudos to Clegg for writing, and the Spokesman-Review for publishing.  Helping stop the pervasive urban legend that atheism is some kind of amoral, corrupt, despised, insert denigrating adjective to the nth degree belief system is an important step toward our global society progressing as a whole towards tolerance and inclusion. 

Until next time, thanks for stopping by,


2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2010 8:41 pm

    Hello, I found your site because you linked to mine, so I thought I would check it out. I appreciate the link btw, and I assume you got it from Gene’s podcast.

    There are two very popular misconceptions that theists have about atheists, and if you let them, they will bombard you with these two issues. The most popular one is the notion that atheists “believe” there is no God, and the second is that atheists can’t explain morality without God.

    It’s apparently very popular lately to think that atheism can neither explain morality, nor can atheists be moral, the latter being the lesser of the two cases. I find that I have been forced to blog about it more and more lately though. It has been getting the most attention in both twitter and Google Buzz too. As well, emails I’ve been sharing with a couple of apologists, have been leaning that way too.

    I have a friend that is convinced that if he didn’t believe in God, he would be out killing people. I used to wonder why anyone that didn’t believe in God didn’t do such things myself when I was a believer. I think it is the idea that there is constantly someone watching that makes one feel that they can’t get away with it if they tried.

    What is funny is the thing that we in the United States seem to claim is most desirable about our country is freedom. At the same time, all these Christians believe they have no freedom. They would be pissed if the government put a camera in their bedroom or bathroom, but they have no problem with the idea that God is watching them take a shower.

    Now, if there was a 100% chance someone would get caught, they are much less likely to do bad things. What’s funny is that Christians should be doing less bad things than anyone else, and that’s not what we find. Apparently, the only time they think about God is when they are preying.

    The reality of it is, when you lose your faith, all that stuff you believed regarding morality stays with you. You just justify it in a different way.

  2. Anonymous permalink*
    February 25, 2010 8:17 am

    Well said, godlessons! Thanks for the insightful comments, and yes, I did check out your site because of Gene’s AMIR podcast. Love that show! Couldn’t agree more with you on the morality issues you raised. I think in large respect most Christians who hold to that view haven’t thought it out to its complete ‘end’, if you will.

    I think the more sites like your’s, and Gene’s, and hopefully mine ‘hammer’ away at this faulty logic, the better off we’ll be as a country, and as a global society.

    Great to ‘meet’ you here in the blogoshere/intertube land, and I hope for more great discussions in the future.

    Take care,

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