Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I am...

...an atheist.

I most definitely am not agnostic, although I am what is referred to as a "weak" atheist (There is no god because there is no proof of god, rather than there is no god and there is proof that there is no god), which some people sometimes classify as agnostic.

But bloody hell am I tempted to label myself agnostic sometimes.  Self-described atheists, by and large, are evangelistic -assholes-.  They worship harder and louder than most the religious I've encountered.

(Agnostics are rather preachy too, actually, load of stuck-up gits.  But they're less irritating about it than the atheists are, at least thus far in my experience.)

I attended a "humanist" meeting.  Once, and only once.  It is essentially an atheist meeting, only they call themselves humanists because... I don't know why.  There's probably a clever historic reason.  Or not so clever.  I'm curious, but not so curious to go and find out.

There was some interesting discussion, and one older atheist, who was facing death by cancer, asked the group for advice on how to handle dying.  It was rather sad.

But more attention was paid to an atheist who wanted the atheists in the group to distribute atheist literature on streetcorners and a rambling woman who apparently had a PHD in neuroscience who spent a half hour basically saying that religion was a mental disorder.  I stopped listening there.

That was the first humanist meeting I attended.  It will be the last.

Christians are right about atheists.  And "secular" by and large means atheist, not areligious.

It's my experience moreover that atheists replace faith in god with faith in something else, quite typically in government or Science with a capital s, which is to say, the institution rather than the process of science.  I'm frequently enough accused of being anti-science because I question the conclusions of scientists that I've ceased to be fazed by it.

And anymore I prefer the religious.  At least they aren't arguing for the wholesale destruction of the most potent intellectual process ever devised.  That's what every atheist shouting down the questioning voice of the skeptic is really arguing for, after all.

Creationism in schools is harmless by comparison to doctrinal "science," which does more to destroy scientific reasoning than any force I have yet encountered.


  1. I refer to the "Big-A" Atheists (the ones who proselytize) as "Anti-theists" as I think it's a much more accurate term. Like you, I'm a small "a" atheist in that I don't Believe. I don't begrudge other people Believing, but I just can't. My brain doesn't work that way. But I find the Anti-theists just as annoying as the Born-again bible-thumpers and for exactly the same reason.

  2. I find them slightly more annoying - they're not merely proselytizing, they're doing so at the expense of rationality and science.

    They're the guy at the Tea Party rally holding up a "Fuck niggers" sign, only they're doing that to science, rather than to one name of a broad political movement.

  3. Letting the anarchist thing ferment still.

    'Humanism' is like Deism except with humans substituted for the deity. It's about acknowledging the highest consciousness as worthy of worship, but denying the existence of spiritual gods, which would mean humans are the highest consciousness. If you've read Yudkowsky's Harry Potter fanfic, it has some explicit, hardcore humanist themes.

    I'm hard agnostic. Neither the existence nor the non-existence of spiritual gods can be proven. The question itself is broken, not the answer.

  4. Alrenous - I'm not sure how that distinguishes humanists from any other areligious group, unless they add the moral elements of godhood along with it. (Which, again, seems to fail to create a real distinction.)

    If we are all gods, the word god has little meaning.