This "13 questions for atheists" meme
seems to be doing the rounds
at the moment. (Although 3 of the questions seem to have vanished somewhere). No-one's tagged me as such, but I thought it might be interesting to give it ago. So...
Q1. How would you define "atheism"?
Well... the a- prefix denotes "the absence of" and theism refers to belief in a divine being, so: "the absence of belief in a divine being".
Makes sense, doesn't it?
Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?
My mum is more "spiritual" than religious and my dad is too pragmatic to really bother with all that stuff. I was baptised though, and assemblies at my primary school were pretty CofE in content: Hymns and parables but no real attempt to establish any serious dogma. Both my brother and I turned out more-or-less atheist.
Q3. How would you describe "Intelligent Design", using only one word?
Q4. What scientific endeavour really excites you?
The search for life (intelligent or otherwise) on other planets.
Q5. If you could change one thing about the "atheist community", what would it be and why?
We have a community?
This might just reflect my own prejudices, but I think those atheists who engage in debate with theists tend to underestimate the intelligence of the other side. Mocking religious believers and calling them stupid is neither big, nor clever, and makes it more difficult to separate the moderates from the extremists.
Q6. If your child came up to you and said "I’m joining the clergy", what would be your first response?
I imagine: "Huh?"
Followed by various questions.
Depending on the reasons my child gave for their decision, I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with it. We all need to find our own path through life.
Q7. What’s your favourite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?
Personal revelation is usually pretty interesting - although it doesn't constitute an argument and so doesn't actually need refuting.
Q8. What’s your most "controversial" (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?
I don't see the point in arguing with deists who base their views on some form of intuition: After all, they're not causing any trouble.
Q9. Of the "Four Horsemen" (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?
Probably... Dawkins. Solely on the basis of his books on evolutionary theory.
Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?
'Cause it'd be funny.
I'm not going to tag anyone, but people should feel free to post their answers in the comment box below. Any theists are also welcome to adapt it for their viewpoint as well.
Labels: Atheism, Matt