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Ask an Atheist Day 2011

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Happy Ask an Atheist Day! Got questions about my un-religious-ness, my views on a/theism, or jsut a random question for me as a person? Well, today’s the day to ask :)

I promise that all views are only from my viewpoint and I’ll try not to speak for anyone else. If you want other people’s view, try asking someone else or googling to see where else on the interwebs you can ask :)


Watch this video and have a think and giggle first ;)

Play nice, and I’ll not bite too hard :)

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19 Comments

  1. Wow Fiona Asking you random questions might be an interesting foray but ….. Do questions need to come only today? Not sure I have a question persay but am interested in what, why and how you got to your world view….

    • Moments I remember as a child:
      When we used to have those scripture classes in early primary school, and some lady who was in my extended family would take the ‘Anglican kids’ and ready stuff from a children’s bible. I was jealous of the Cambdian girl who just got to stay in the regular classroom.
      Scary puppets at ‘scripture’ singing about something.
      Believing in Santa to the point where I was shakey with excitement
      A girl in primary school whose family was involved with the Salvation Army church (she did the tambourine thing) saying “I can’t swear because I’m a christian”. It made no sense to me at the time ;)
      Going to a midnight mass once in highschool. Because I wanted to see what it was like.
      Wanting to believe in a god or something because at the time my boyfriend did. It was a passing phase, because I couldn’t talk myself into it.
      Knowing much of what i knew about the Jesus story because of Superstar. And not understanding why there were people handing out “the real story” outside the theatre while talking about god.
      The high school scripture lessons that happened maybe once a term when these people came and there was music. And I could have opted out if I brought a note, but I didn’t, and also I’d just be in the library and that was more boring that talking through the session with friends.

      Basically, I think my whole life, once I hit a certain point and things like Santa and the like weren’t real anymore, I don’t think there was a part of my brain that was able to convince myself that there was a go or mystical force other than gravity ;)

      More to come later, better get to work.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing and I know you are not finished, but I struggle to understand if you are saying not convinced there is a god or other power (agnostic) or state there is NO god or other power (atheist) which I must say when looking for definition and practical implementation examples.

    I find much affinity with agnostics and when many atheists are asked seem to not know as compared to reject the premise of the existence of a deity.

    When I wrote briefly (http://davidlmackie.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/so-what-is-it-i-believe/) about what I think I believe in (does seem to be evolving) I think the best description for me is Agnostic in hope of a loop hole

    Thanks again for sharing

    • It’s not that I’m not convinced that there’s a god or not, there’s just no evidence that there is a god. (if you want to point something out go for it, but I may not take it as evidence).

      I think it’s more that, like other mythical (and I use myth in the sense of myths and legends, like Thor and the rainbow serpant etc) creatures, I don’t have any evidence to say that there is a god of some sort, or even anything supernatural. Whereas there is plenty of other evidence for me that says hey look at how nature interacts, and things are born and things die and viruses and water exist and there’s an earth and all those planetswaay out there. To me, it’s that there’s more evidence.

      Yes, if a god rocked up and could show me that they were godlike, or when i die I wind up in hell, then yes, I’ll have proof to the contrary. As will you as agnostic, but there’s way more going against that.

      Don’t want to debate semantics, though ;) Atheist is more realistic for me, personally :)

    • If there’s a Christian or Muslim god, you’re going to be in hell with me anyway :p

  3. Don’t get me wrong Fiona this is not a debate on Semantics. I was looking to understand the difference for you.

    For me to say something does NOT exist Atheist requires almost more evidence than to say it does, because that is saying I exclude all possibilities of this being the case.

    Where Agnostics are simpliy saying I don’t know either way and I’m good with that.

    Oh and very happy to spend time in Hell with you because you are write both are my way or the highway.

    Take Care

  4. There is a logical flaw that Agnostics seem to posses. That is, they neither confirm nor deny the existence of a deity on the basis of lack of _conclusive_ evidence, but they fail to realise that there are MANY things that they _do_ confirm or deny, despite having such a level of evidence.

    For example, Santa Clause. Can you prove or disprove the existence of Santa Clause? Think about it. All of the usual arguments deists use to deny the applicability of the scientific method to the question of existence of their deity(ies) apply equally well to the jolly fat bloke. Yet, you find me a sane 30 year old who has _faith_ in the existence of Santa Clause?

    Don’t like the Santa Clause example? Ok, let’s get more philosophical. Prove or disprove _my_ existence.

    I used to be an agnostic. Then I realised agnostics are hypocritical.

    • Hmmmm Hypocritical? Lucky I’m neither precious nor sensitive ;)

      By Identifying as Agnostic I am picking a category which others might accept. I am NOT attributing a complete belief structure to it

      I am simply saying I don’t know if there is or is not a God.
      Which has zero to do with Santa how is that even a parallel, if we agree that Santa is Saint Nicholas (the Historical figure) and all the festivities are for reasons of altruism and general community then yes I do believe in Santa. Do I believe in flying reindeer and visits to every house with gifts no. Can I categorically say this is not possible I would also have to say no because I cannot discount what I don’t know.

      Given my initial interest in Fiona’s Beliefs was based on her assertion that Jewish, Muslim, Christian and I suspect all other religions are fiction. If this is also your assertion without proofs I find that completely arrogant.

      Does that make you a bad person well not really, does that mean I am making a judgment about you or her being Atheists not at all but to make that kind of statement you are hypothesising a position I’m not sure you can defend.

      Better to say I don’t know which would seem to be the case than to bait the god bothers’.

      The argument that because I reject one premise as indeterminate yet accept another to be true why do I need to apply the same tests. I’m saying using my best judgement that this seems to be true and the other I have no basis to even make a gut feel call.

      I would never categorically declare as false something I could not prove so I make judgement calls all the time. I am just saying I don’t feel I can make a call on the God Issue.

      • so long and you’re not picking it BECAUSE others will accept it.

        I feel that in the times whether religions were invented, people needed to have their world explained to them in a way that made sense to them. Just like we do now. We like to know thing, like to understand our world. Fotunately for us we understand more about our world than our ancestors (though the Greeks and Romans we super awesome for their time!) so don’t necessarily need to keep the supernatural explanations going in order to get that.

  5. Sorry, I mistyped. I meant “…but they fail to realise that there are MANY things that they _do_ confirm or deny, despite NOT having such a level of evidence”

  6. David missed my point. Not surprising; the argument is difficult to come to terms with, as one must face one’s own inconsistencies. It took intelligent friends a couple of years to convince me of its validity.

    I was of course generalising. The agnostics I label as “hypocritical” are the majority; those who think and/or act in a manner inconsistent with their own perceptions of how they think and act. They are not all of them.

    A person like David claims the possibility that Santa Clause, flying reindeer and all, might actually exist. So, here is the question. Does such a person _genuinely think and act_ in a manner consistent with such uncertainty, in _all matters_ (since all matters, not just the existence of glowing red noses, are uncertain)? If the answer is “no”, then that person is a hypocritical agnostic, and I claim they are the majority. In the rare case that the answer is “yes”, then the person is certainly intellectually credible, but in reality they are either the Dali Lama or an impotent fence-sitter incapable of forming a conviction on the balance of probabilities.

    *chuckles* Am I playing nice, Pinkie?

  7. I either missed your point or rejected it as untrue given the written word is far easiest to misinterpret and I don’t have access to your brain just the way you express what happens in there I will have to state I don’t know what your point is in the same way that I don’t know there is a god.

    I don’t think people need to act consistently in this case

    I apply the if it sounds like stealing I probably is test to many things in my life which is to say if something feels plausible and the decision either way is inconsequential then perhaps it is worthy of acceptance on some level.

    I DO NOT claim the possibility of Santa I said it (Christmas) is a nice tradition and that the festivities are for reasons of altruism and general community. Further I said I could not categorically say there is no Santa because I don’t think I know everything so when Santa, The Easter Bunny, Marvin the Martian and Jesus turn up at the Australia Day Concert on the lawns of Parliament house I won’t feel stupid more just well F#ck me a talking dog.

    So my assertion is I took the label Agnostic because for terms of reference it fits the, I don’t know camp.

    Do I have to choose a side on every issue? no

    Sometimes I will go with my gut others I won’t care enough to choose.

    I will NEVER choose does not exist because that arrogantly attests that I infallibly know something and me and my Year 10 Education are not quite that smart but seemingly smart enough to not be conceited.

    And I do not mean you or Fiona

    Anyway let’s not fill Fiona’s blog with more circular arguments, seems more a thing for Bulmers Cider one day.

  8. At risk of starting again I reccon 3.8

    Remembering I identify as “what I think I believe in (does seem to be evolving) I think the best description for me is Agnostic in hope of a loop hole”

  9. KK, now I’m confused. . . and what confuses me even more is that I don’t believe in God and work in a Catholic school. . . so am I straddling the fence here? Is God testing me? Am I meek or just an outspoken blogger? Maybe I need to open myself to the “good”vibes a bit more? Though it has been 10 years . . . .Hm?
    Ooh, the cancer one got me. I lost my husband to cancer 19 months ago. His dad, a born again something. . .who he had issues with anyway . . . told him if he really accepted God into his life his cancer would be cured! I know! No wonder he had issues. I don’t stay in touch with him anymore. . . hope God forgives me!
    But while talking of irrational things, his oncologist said that cancer only happens to good people! What!?
    Happy Ask an Atheist Day- keep up the good work!

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