Sunday, June 29, 2008

An Atheist Questionnaire

I was tagged by Da'as Hedyot, so I guess I'll do my blogging duty.

Q1. How would you define "atheism"?

Strictly as simply the lack of belief in gods. But in general, practically for those who take the title, it subsumes a whole series of assumptions about humanity and our relationship with the rest of reality. The basic worldview asserts that the universe was an accident without consequence or meaning. Humans exist purely by luck and our interaction with the rest of reality doesn't go beyond it being merely the otherwise irrelevant backdrop for the navel-gazing human drama to play out. Morality is subjective (and therefore is without any means of authority to orient right from wrong).

That, in the end, we are all nothing (ala Hawking) but the chemical scum placed on a moderate-size planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies.

Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?

Blah, blah. Everyone knows about this already. Modern OJ, relatively chilled.

Q3. How would you describe "Intelligent Design", using only one word?

Pseudoscience.

Q4. What scientific endeavor(s) really excites you?

Space exploration. Biological systems. Deep-time evolution.

Q5. If you could change one thing about the "atheist community", what would it be and why?

To stop defining themselves by what they are not. It's terrible when the only way they seem to be able to progress their cause is by attacking the alternatives. Not that the method doesn't have its place, but the "atheist community" seems far too sure of its worldview which it only reached by denying the views of others.

Q6. If your child came up to you and said "I'm joining the clergy", what would be your first response?

Alright, just make sure you don't get so frum that you won't eat in my house anymore.

Q7. What's your favorite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?

Meh. I'm so bored with that endless debate. Generally it's a matter of someone asserting something about God and I just say, "Oh, how do you know that impossible to know thing?"

Q8. What's your most "controversial" (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?

I'm not an atheist. That tends to get 'em riled up and remarkably few seem to comprehend the significant gradations between I and some Biblical literalist.

Q9. Of the "Four Horsemen" (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favorite, and why?

I like Dawkins. Actually I liked him before he became a militant atheist performer since I appreciate his contributions to evolution, but even so he's great with the turn of phrase and he makes his points with excellent clarity. Harris though seems to be the most reasonable-sounding of the bunch.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?

Hmm. I really don't care all that much. How about the next virgin-addled pro-murderer before he completes his massacre?

8 comments:

B. Spinoza said...

>Alright, just make sure you don't get so frum that you won't eat in my house anymore.

you're assuming your child will be joining the Orthodox Clergy. What if they become conservative/Reform? What if they become a Buddhist monk or a Priest. Would you still say alright?

Miri said...

What exactly is "deep-time evolution?"

DYS said...

How would you describe "Intelligent Design", using only one word?

Subterfuge

alex said...

Q3. How would you describe "Intelligent Design", using only one word?

It's hard to know whether he capitalized I.D. on purpose or not. Are we talking about the Discovery folks, or are we more /generally/ talking about the notion that some things in nature that /appear/ designed are in /fact/ designed? For instance, Kenneth Miller is definitely not an advocate of Intelligent Design. However, when you really look into his beliefs, he's in fact an advocate of intelligent design.

Orthoprax said...

Spinoza,

"What if they become conservative/Reform?"

That's ok too.

"What if they become a Buddhist monk or a Priest. Would you still say alright?"

Not so much. Clearly then that's not a matter of religious belief as much as it is turning his back on his people.


Miri,

"What exactly is "deep-time evolution?""

I'm fascinated by the ways in which evolution has shaped the Earth's organisms and ecosystems over the course of millions of years.


Alex,

"It's hard to know whether he capitalized I.D. on purpose or not."

Well, I didn't do the capitalizing. I just copied and pasted. But I was referring to the movement made of the Discovery Institute type folks.

Michelle said...

dude, where ya been? haven't seen u on me blog lately?

Orthoprax said...

Nowhere in particular, just busy at work.

aoc gold said...

The Star
(1)

Twinkle, twinkle, little star!

How I wonder what you are,

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

(2)

When the blazing sun is gone,

When he nothing shines upon,

Then you show your little light,

Twinkle, twinkle all the night.
(3)

The dark blue sky you keep

And often thro' my curtains peep,

For you never shut your eye

Till the sun is in the sky.

(4)

'Tis your bright and tiny spark

Lights the traveler in the dark;

Though I know not what you are
Twinkle, twinkle, little star!

-----by aoc power leveling