Ask an Atheist day

So First things First, I have a confession.

Last year, on Ask an Atheist day, I was asked a question by a friend that I kind of flippantly flipped off.

Now this wasn’t just me being an ass, Not that I am trying to say I am not, because I am sure by many definitions I would be. But I did have a few reasons.

  • The person in question has a heavy science background – I was stunned that they would think that atheism is an unrealistic conclusion. Well, to be honest I did not believe they would believe that.
  • The question appeared to be half arsed and incomplete – This may or may not be entirely fair, but in response to my post offering to, as an atheist, answer any question posed, the person put “Why?”

After some thought, I came to the conclusion that this person may well have meant why be an atheist. To be fair, they may also have meant why do “Ask an Atheist” day? Or why something else. I guess the vague nature of the question had me figuring it was just a flippant semi-trolling and I gave it just as flippant answer.

I did kind of regret my answer later, upon reflection, as I started to consider the possibility it wasn’t just a flippant semi-trolling.

So here goes.
Why be an atheist?
There are several soundbytes around these days that encapsulate the reasons for this quite well. I am not sure on the original source for most of them, but I will do my best to reference the first place I heard it.

“The time to believe a thing is after there is evidence for it.”

I attribute too Matt Dillahunty of “The Atheist Experience” fame. as this was the first place I heard it, and I have not heard him pass the attribution on to another.

Another influential and famous quote

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

This is, of course, the famous Hitchens Razor. Christopher Hitchen’s response to religious epistomology.
A Translation of a latin proverb

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

Richard Dawkins, said a very similar thing a different way;

“The onus is on you to say why, the onus is not on the rest of us to say why not.”

This places the concept more in the idea of burden of proof. The claims of religion have never, at least not up to this point, met thier burden of proof. “Up to this point” purely because, to be fair something could be brought forward in the future.

That said, I honestly think it is entirely unlikely. In the thousands of years of human history, and the history of civilisation, no solid evidence of any such thing as gods.

The long and the short of it, I have never been shown enough evidence to convince me that there is any god(s) worth believing in.

What is worse, having done my homework. Even if the evidence turned up to show that the abrahamic god exists, and everything in the bible is true. It would be clear to me, that he is not worthy of my worship, or even my respect.

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~ by scawalrus on April 23, 2014.

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