February 2007

Looks like someone doesn’t understand the nature of atheism.If I claim I’m an atheist, I’m not bound by any “rights and responsibilities” nonsense just because I’m an atheist. Atheism is denial; it is negative in its nature, and does not have any positive assertions of its own right. It’s an “other” category.

Stop embarassing atheists and take that shit down, idiot.

Wow, somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed.

It’s hard to tell if you are an atheist yourself from your letter. On one hand, your asking me to not embarrass atheists might indicate that you are one. On the other hand, your obvious ignorance of what atheism means indicates that you may not be.

Let’s look at your misunderstandings a little closer.

You say that “atheism is denial”. This is not a true statement, in that “denial” can imply saying something is not true when it is obviously true, as in “Holocaust denial”. Atheism is the state of being without religion. It does not “deny” anything any more than being knowledgeable denies that ignorance exists.

You say that “it is negative in its nature”. Again, not true, except for in the technical sense that it means without religion. Something being defined negatively does not mean that it is negative by nature, nor does it imply that the thing may not incorporate positive statements.

You say that atheism “does not have any positive assertions of its own right.” Again, not true. Atheists, in general, believe in the results of scientific investigation. We believe that the world can be explained without resorting to the supernatural. We think that being correct is more important than being certain. I’d say that these are all positive assertions, and there are likely many others that can be made about atheism.

You say that, as an atheist, you are not bound by any “‘rights and responsibilities’ nonsense”. Technically you are correct. I had rather hoped that my rights and responsibilities page was obviously describing a good atheist, as opposed to just any atheist. If you are an atheist and want to cheat on your spouse, steal, or write blathering e-mails that make you look like hopelessly ignorant, you can still call yourself an atheist, I just won’t be particularly happy to have your beliefs associated with mine.

So, how am I embarrassing atheists? By pointing out that atheists can be just as moral — if not more so — than theists? By saying that being an atheist does not imply immorality, as many theists believe? True, I’ve gotten a number of e-mails from people who don’t like the “rule” that atheists shouldn’t cheat on their significant others, but I have no respect for someone with that opinion and don’t mind embarrassing them.

If you want to tell me more about your philosophical beliefs, I’d be interested, if only to get some context for your letter. I’d also be interested to know if you think any of the items on my rights and responsibilities page don’t apply to moral atheists.

Posted on February 20, 2007 at 6:59 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: About atheism, Criticism

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