Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Journey - becoming an Atheist

The journey from religious dogma to Atheism / Secular Humanism isn't one that goes from a place of comfort and certainty to despondency and hopelessness, as those that believe in a magical, invisible friend (or several such friends, for that matter) will tell you.

Rather, it is often a journey from a place of great discomfort and disquiet, a place of fear and and required prejudice, to a place of wonder, joy, acceptance, appreciation and exploration. This article in the New York Times maps such a journey.
    ...he rounded up favorite quotations from Emerson, Thoreau, Confucius, Siddhartha, Gandhi, Marcus Aurelius, Martin Luther King and more. From the New Testament, too. He put each on a strip of paper, then filled a salad bowl with the strips. At dinner he asks his kids to fish one out so they can discuss it.

    He takes his kids outside to gaze at stars, which speak to the wonder of creation and the humility he wants them to feel about their place in it.

    He’s big on humility, asking, who are we to go to the barricades for human embryos and then treat animals and their habitats with such contempt? Or to make such unforgiving judgments about people who err, including women who get pregnant without meaning to, unequipped for the awesome responsibility of a child?


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Is your religion strong enough for science?

I subscribe to Carl Sagan Quoted on Twitter. Every day or so, a quote from Carl Sagan gets sent out. Here was one recently that I really loved:
“Any faith that admires truth, that strives to know God, must be brave enough to accommodate the universe.”
This quote really struck me, because it's something I've been thinking about a lot:
Fundamentalist Christians, fundamentalists Muslims, and fundamentalist anything, must say in their minds, "Oh, I trust this medicine that has been developed using the science of biology, and I will get on this plane and fly because of the work of people that applied the science of aeronautics, but I reject evolutionary biology, plate tectonics, and the laws of physics beyond the sphere of the Earth."
While I did, indeed, grow up in the Bible Belt, I was never discouraged from ignoring or rejecting science. It's one of the reasons I continued to attend church for so long despite not having the faith I was supposed to have - I didn't feel a God, but nothing was said against science in most of the churches I attended, and the pot lucks were so delicious - religion continued to accommodate the reality I experienced and everything I learned in school, and since I had no idea there was a viable alternative to attending church, I kept going. Maybe if it hadn't I would have embraced my Atheism much sooner.
I'm not worried about any religion or faith that embraces science. But the ones who don't absolutely terrify me - and defy all logic.

Basketball is my religion

Want to make a Kentucky Atheist angry? Show up at my door to proselytize during March Madness. WWJD? Not do that.