The background for this blog....I am an atheist. This is the single most important thing that you could know about me. I am not ashamed of this in the least. Rather, I am proud that I have shed antiquated bronze age beliefs for what I see as a more enlightened existence.
Why am I an atheist? Simple. There is no longer any need to invoke an almighty god to explain existence, or anything else for that matter. The universe obeys natural laws and has no need of a deity pushing the planets, stars, galaxies, etc. around. God was originally invoked as an explanation for existence and the happenings within the universe. As such, we have found naturalistic explanations for everything in it without an Almighty. Ockham's Razor (a useful tool) dictates that we keep only that which goes towards a complete and satisfactory explanation, discarding all else. God is left on the cutting room floor, so to speak.
Why have I made this the subject of my first blog? It's importance. The rise of religious fundamentalism has threatened everyone's freedom. This includes not only religious freedom (they would love nothing better than to convert you to their beliefs) but freedom from religion. Atheists are viewed as the least trustworthy and moral of any identifiable group. Indeed, George Bush senior is quoted as questioning atheists American's right to citizenship. Yet I would say we are the most such. The National Academy of Sciences (I am priveleged to have had a paper printed in the journal published by this august body) consists of the most enlightened minds in the US. About 93% of this body has no belief in god. If immorality were indeed rampant in atheists I would expect there to be a great deal of them incarcerated. I know of none.
And yet god-fearing folk such as Kent Hovind, a young earth creationist (more about them in blog later), was found guilty of tax evasion. 'Dr. Dino' faces 288 years for thinking he was too good a Xian to pay his taxes. And we've all heard about Ted Haggard by now. I wonder if he still thinks homosexuality is a choice now? The irony is that the hell he is putting himself through is of his own making. All he would have to do would be to accept who and what he is, but as my brother says it's more likely that he'll eat a bullet intead.
I know, I know. Most Xians are pretty good people, but why can't Xians feel the same way about atheists? EVERY single Xian thinks 'There are some nice upstanding atheists, but...'. Fundamentalists feel it is their duty to 'witness' (I've never fully understood that term. Does it mean that they were around when Jesus was?) and 'save' unbelievers. My immediate response is to ask who gave them the right? They do not understand that this is the ultimate insult. It says: "My belief system is infinitely better than yours." Funny, we never see atheists proselytizing on street corners. Maybe we should.
As Sam Harris in his book 'End of Faith' discusses, religion (any and every religion) is not a healthy thing in a world seemingly full of "WMD's". It is wonderful to belong to a group, but this means any outsider is treated with suspicion. We even see distrust and discord amongst different Xian sects over what I see as minutiae. Declare yourself an atheist though, and these people quickly forget their differences to turn on you.
Well, that's enough for my first blog. Comments are always welcome, yay or nay!