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"Like a graveyard...
... people dig me"
On readings 
2nd-Jun-2008 07:50 am
Found in 125 Street Station. No, I've not gone to the site.

I started reading 'The Portable Atheist', and I have to admit I feel very vulnerable when I do so on the train. I know it's not rational, but I recognise that atheists make up one of America's least favorite minorities. Don't believe me? There have been polls that showed that not only do a majority of Americans believe in angels, but an overwhelming majority believe that atheists are unfit to be president, or to teach.

Rational or not, I'm most worried that a casual aquaintance will think less of me for not needing or wanting a Supreme Being in my life. Frankly, I do not understand what triggers the Theistic Question in the first place. But back to my paranoia for a moment - see how ingrained the concept of 'atheism = moral failing' is? And this from a lifelong atheist.

Oh, and I want to talk about theodicy for a moment. Pope Guilty posted about it recently, and it turned out to be a word I'd been looking for. Out of space!

2nd-Jun-2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
Wow, that site is batshit. Did you know that Israel caused the tsunami in Indonesia just to kill Muslims?

In fact, did you know that everything bad that happens in the world is caused by Israel?
2nd-Jun-2008 01:42 pm (UTC)
Well, of course! That is just common knowledge. :-P (j/k)
2nd-Jun-2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
For a bit of irony, I think you should tuck your book inside a copy of the bible and see if you feel any better.
2nd-Jun-2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
It wouldn't fit. This is a seriously thick book (450+ pages of thick paper). Also, pretending to a faith I do not have would bother me more, I think.
2nd-Jun-2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
There's a pretty solid reason to think theism is equivalent to morality: morals, absent a standard by which to judge them, are subjective. It isn't the only way to define morality, but it's -very- convenient.
2nd-Jun-2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
Drat. That was me. :)
2nd-Jun-2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, good. I was going to do some IP lookup stuff ;-D
2nd-Jun-2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
Though this is not a good answer, sometimes when I am reading something risque (to someone at least) I make a temporary book cover out of wrapping or newspaper. I could deal with potential strangers making comments at me, but I'd rather avoid it and enjoy my book.

That being said, while I was reading the Portable Atheist (uncovered), someone who was very alone and uncertain in his atheism saw my book was was embolden to ask me some questions. After all, there are few reasonable "tells" for atheists I think. (Offensive t-shirts galore though!)
3rd-Jun-2008 03:26 am (UTC)
I also dislike many famous atheists, Hitchens and Dawkins especially so. While I agree triumphalism is certainly part of it, what irks me the most is the denial of faith-based atheism. That any argument not seated in reason, especially one that isn't derogatory of theism, is somehow not atheistic enough. Consequently, I am less of an atheist because my disbelief in a divine power is purely volitional.
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