This is's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Recent Activity
Recently, a number of billboards with polite atheists messages, such as "Don't Believe In God? You are not alone." have resulted in death threats from theists. This is evidence that when it comes to atheism, how you say it is not what matters; theists are offended by the content, and not the wrapping. I see freethinkers choosing a wide variety of labels for themselves - agnostic, unbeliever, nonbeliever, nontheist, atheist, and so forth. It is often assumed that those who call themselves atheists are least acceptable in society. But it seems to me all are reviled; the particular name chosen makes little difference to many theists. Dan Dennett explained in his book Breaking The Spell (which every theist should read), that religion protects itself by building a wide variety of social constructs that make it impermissible to even discuss the possibility that it may be mistaken. These restrictions are aimed at content, not at presentation. On the other hand - I do know people, who, years ago, would get upset with me when I told them I was an atheist, but are now atheists themselves.
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2009 on Atheism and Friendship at Greta Christina's Blog
1 reply
Chia | September 24, 2009 at 02:13 PM: I don't know why, if you are not sure, you must take the side of there not being a God. There is a teapot, in orbit around the Sun, sharing Earth's orbit, but on the side of the Sun directly opposite the Earth. It can't be detected by telescopes on or near Earth, because the Sun is in the way. And it's too small to be detected by other probes. So you can't be sure that the teapot doesn't exist. Should you believe in the teapot? I have, in my closet, and invisible pink unicorn. You can't see it, because it's invisible. You can't hear it, because it's silent. You can't feel it, because it's too quick. Do you believe in the unicorn? There is a famous scientist who claims to have a Dragon in his garage. When people want to look at it, they're told the Dragon is invisible. When they want to hear it, they're told the Dragon is magically silent. And so forth. Do you believe in the Dragon? One of the fundamental building blocks of logic is that one must not accept beliefs for which there is no evidence. This is usually referred to as "Occam's razor" ( actually it goes back at least as far as Archimedes). Without Occam's razor, you have no choice but to accept the teapot, the invisible pink unicorn, the dragon in the garage, the Tooth Fairy, Mother Goose, Odin, Zeus, Santa Claus, Leprechauns, Bigfoot, and, in fact, and endless list of entities for which there is no evidence. Acceptance of this endless list of myriad entities complicates any thinking you might do. If you can't find your car keys, you must consider the possibility that a mischievous brownie moved them, the possibility that a hungry invisible dragon ate them, the possibility that a leprechaun turned them into green cheese, and many other possibilities besides. These notions clutter up your thinking and make it harder to figure out what on Earth happened to your keys. With Occam's razor, you can reject all these strange possibilities. You can turn to simple explanations, such as the possibility that your keys fell out of your pocket while you were sitting on the couch reading a book. God is like the entities I have listed above. God is often (but not always) so nebulously defined that it cannot be disproved. Yet there is no evidence for God. Therefor, to enable progress in our thinking about the universe, we use Occam's razor to slice him away.
1 reply