28th October 2008

“If atheism can be called a belief, can I say that my not collecting stamps is a hobby?”

Anon.

11 Responses to “28th October 2008”

  1. Baron von Knifty Says:

    I’m an Atheist and I believe in a higher power. I’m just not religious about it.

  2. Terence Meaden Says:

    One kind of power that is higher than an atheist ,and in which atheists believe, is an overhead electricity power line.

    The quote is one initiated by Richard Dawkins, I think. I’ll need to check it out.

  3. Chris Says:

    That’s a beautiful retort to the theist jibe “Atheism is just another religion”. Yes, they actually say stuff like that!

  4. Oxymoronic Christhinker Says:

    Chris:
    I am a theist (Christian) and I do not describe atheism to my group study as a “belief.” I know of no atheist “creeds” or “theologies (atheologies?)”, except for a basic “trust (faith?)” in science – a trust which I also have and promote amongst my fellow theists.

    BvK:
    I also know atheists who “believe in a higher power” but are “not religious about it.” Might I ask if you could describe your “higher power,” if possible, and why have one if you are not “religious” about it. Just curious.

    Atheist Advocate and Critic:
    Are you really abandoning this site over a rift about the proper/improper use of language (profanity)? Seems a little ridiculous to me. I doubt there are many “11 year olds” frequenting this site. For the record, I’ve always found Critic’s comments interesting and thoughtful, if sometimes a bit caustic (to a theist, anyway!). One does not advocate atheism (or anything else) by running away.

  5. Baron von Knifty Says:

    Chris,
    It doesn’t take much to believe in a higher power. All you need do is look out into space on a clear, starry night. But it has absolutely nothing to do with formal, organized religions. I am not religious about it because no religion is required. The pulse and the awesomeness of the cosmos are plainly there.

  6. Chris Says:

    Oxy – Science is not based on trust (faith) but rather evidence. That is not a trivial distinction. Sorry if I painted you you with my broad brush. I think it’s generally understood in this forum that when we speak of theists we are most typically directing our remarks at fundamentalists who are, sorry to say, inured to the arguments of logic and the scientific method by “virtue” of a mindset that does not see evidence as a necessary part of decision making. We’ve all met these kind of people.

    BVK – I do, in fact, see the grandeur of the universe not as proof of any higher power but as evidence of our great luck to be one many or perhaps very few sentient, evolved species in this unfathomably immense universe. The fact that the universe is large and amazing says nothing whatsoever to me about “ultimate creation”. Just because we don’t know how it started is no reason credit a “Higher Power”.

    Maybe I’m missing something here but “Higher Power” = “God”. One cannot be an atheist and believe in a so-called higher power. I think this position makes one an agnostic, possibly. Anyone want to set me straight?

  7. Chris Says:

    Unless, of course, that higher power is simply nature, in which case I’m in complete agreement. For proof that atheists are not emotionless automatons, I suggest Carl Sagan’s “The Demon Haunted World”.

  8. Baron von Knifty Says:

    Chris,
    Your understanding of “higher power” is different from mine. I never equated “higher power= god.”
    Those who fail to grasp the idea of a waffle iron will eventually turn it in to a shrine.

  9. Chris Says:

    OK, fair enough. So for you, a higher power is not a transcendental and supernatural being. Can you give me some idea of what you DO mean by this? Does His Highness have a personality? Does He/She/It speak to us? Work miracles? Was the HiPow present at the creation? Responsible for it? Does the HiPow have some of the usual divine attributes? Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Omniscience? I’d appreciate knowing how you define this in a way that doesn’t make this simply god by another name.

  10. Baron von Knifty Says:

    You said it best, Chris. It’s simply nature doing its thing.

  11. Tony Pro Says:

    Checking in late again. Just want to say thanks to all for posting.
    There is a good bit of wisdom to be gleaned from your keypads.
    Good night.