Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's okay to be A

**WARNING- This post was written in 2008. While my views haven't really changed since then, I think I would now call myself a skeptical-but-spiritually-open agnostic as opposed to just a plain old atheist**

*Begin Original Post*

The fact that the majority of people in the world believe, without evidence or critical analysis, in some very unlikely things, has me worried. Most say that (religious) faith is a virtue, but I think it's a liability.

So, with apologies to conservative friends and relatives, and some trepidation about over-sharing personal information on the Internet, I've decided to come out as an atheist. Unfortunately, this makes me an official member of the most distrusted minority in America. Yet by coming out I may change, in some small way, the negative attitude against atheists, if only by showing that we don't all have horns and tails.

Anyway, if you've got some time and a curious mind, check out this British documentary on the dangers of taking religion too seriously. It's hosted by biologist Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion" and "The Selfish Gene" (both excellent books). Dawkins is a touch arrogant on camera, and definitely not as lovable as Carl Sagan or David Attenborough, but he does pretty well for a scientist. The videos are too long to watch at work so you better wait until you get home and get cozy.

Part 1 (45 minutes)

Part 2 (45 minutes)


Paul Richardson said...

I think your blog is possessed by demons. But don't worry, I exorcised them outta there.

Yeah, you'll probably get some hits on this one. Look out, Phyrangula!

Anyhow, God bless you for exercising your freedom of religion! That's why we settled this great land, right?

I guess you can mark me as a wishy washy Agnostic.

peas out,

Outdrsmn said...

You potentially opened a giant can of worms here.
I really don’t know where I stand.

Do I believe in a higher power? Yes. I do often wonder if the statement "God is just an imaginary friend for grownups" is true.(quote by Morgan Freeman can't remember which movie)

Do I believe that the religious
texts are the word of god? Hardly. They seem more like a propaganda tool to control the way people think and behave, pretty successful too.

I also believe... To each their own.

James Douglass said...

Hey, thanks for chiming in guys. I definitely don't expect everyone to agree with me on this, but I'm glad we can talk about it.

Paul- I used to identify as an agnostic, too, and my views haven't really changed much since then. I still can't PROVE that there's no God, just like I can't prove that I'm not being followed around all the time by an invisible penguin. I just think it's very unlikely that there's a "theist" God, i.e. one with the particular qualities humans tend to ascribe to him.

Catapulting Aaron said...

"Hey James, it turns out I wasn't right about everything. Heaven is dark and really hot, and God is red and has horns... go figure!

Yours in Christ,

Jerry Falwell"

James Douglass said...

Aaron- LOL. I hate to chuckle at the expense of a dead guy, but in this case I can't help it. Jerry Falwell was a royally mixed-up dude. Remember when he was terrified that the purple teletubby was turning kids gay? Here's another great (real) quote of Falwell's-

"I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them."