It is never easy writing blog posts on a Friday, too much to do in the run up to the weekend, so please forgive the “easy” targets today. Yesterday I took a cheap shot at a post on the unique Parabiodox blog. I knew it was a bait post but I was bored and couldn’t pass up the chance to poke fun at what came across as a very self-important Theist post.
Parabiodox has responded to my comment and seems to damn me with faint praise (more of that later), but oddly seems to continue the “self important” tone I thought the original post had. Do Christians have a sense of humour or was he just all cut up over the death of Jerry Fallwell…(*) Anyway, trying to claw my way back to seriousness, in a nutshell, Parabiodox (paraphrasing the luminary Ayn Rand…) asked a question about which faith/belief system spends it’s time attacking others to hide the fact it has nothing to offer. It was fairly obvious this was a poor attempt to attack Atheism (agnosticism etc) and that is the answer the Theist wants to get.
The reality is far from the truth (for example, Atheism is not a faith nor is it a belief system) so, I pointed out that if you are not a follower of the Abrahamic myths, then they seem to spend a lot of time attacking others in an effort to mask the fact they offer nothing of value. The irony of the very question did not go unnoticed here… How does Parabiodox respond?
Is the Why Dont You Blog? seriously expecting us to believe that the majority of atheists spend most of their time talking about the positive benefits of Atheism as opposed to attacking Christianity?
Wow. No, seriously. Wow. The early, easy answer is the simple one. Most Atheists I know spend most of their time talking about other things. I can not remember the last time I had a conversation with someone face to face where I attacked “Christianity.” This blog may well occasionally attack Christianity, but generally it tries to attack religious idiocy (and generalised idiocy when it crops up) rather than a specific insanity. Most Atheist blogs I visit attack “idiocy” rather than Christianity.
Does this imply that Christianity is idiocy? I will leave that to others to answer, for my point of view is there are clever people who are Christians and there are clever people who are not. The clever Christians generally sacrifice some level of logical thinking to allow their beliefs to co-exist. Most theists, however, do not give the topic enough thought to say one way or another. Most “believers” I know (multi faith) are simply believers because they have been brought up that way and, basically, brainwashed into not questioning what ever particular doctrine they follow.
As a more complicated response to the question, (remembering this blog is simply my point of view (**)), and one which is left begging from the answer above is that Atheism is not a religion. There is no belief system which Atheism tries to convert people to. Some Atheists may try to convince theists their thinking is flawed but, for me, this happens just as much over every day topics as it does over religion.
Theists seem obsessed with the idea that Atheism is a religion, with a belief structure and so on. This is simply, in my experience not true. Atheism is a lack of belief in Gods. That does not constitute a belief in itself. Unlike a religion there is no central doctrine which Atheists must adhere to, it is even pretty much a self-labelling concept anyway. There is no confirmation ceremony or right of passage. To paraphrase the oft quoted response, some one who follows the Abrahamic Deity is an Atheist to all gods but one, I just take it one god further.
I am going to take Parabiodox’s comments out of sequence now, because it is easy to address them and because I can — no sky pixie will stop me…
Indeed Why Dont You Blog?‘s atheistically conditioned knee-jerk response of â€œAbrahamic Religions (Judaeo-Christianity and Islam)â€ is an example of this. An awful lot of atheists just can’t resist the anti-Christian response.
Well, my response was no more anti-Christian than it was anti-Jew or anti-Muslim. There is no such thing as an “atheistically conditioned” anything. I suspect Parabiodox’s response is a Theistically conditioned one though…
Now we look at people who just promote atheism (not any particular development of, such as Objectivism) what do they spend most of their time talking about ? Christianity.
If you are going to use “us” as the subject group, of course Christianity will be the topic of discussion. The “we” Parabiodox refers to generally describes people from the UK, US and Canada, Australia and New Zealand – the majority of people who visit blogs in English 🙂 . All those nations are predominantly Christian nations. Do you think there is some correlation between the two?
I rarely complain about bad science being promoted in the Romanian school system. is that because of some knee jerk reaction I have about Science or is it simply because I do not live in Romania so it is a culture and value system that I am neither interest in, or know about? You decide.
Add to this, most Atheists are brought up as Christians it identifies that Christianity will be the religion most people can talk about the most. It remains a common theme that, generally, atheists no more about religions (and other world religions) than the faithful. I suppose to keep Parabiodox happy we would have to spend equal time disproving the Finnish creation myth or looking at why some people think Toutatis is the most powerful deity… (We wont though).
(*) Yes, this entire sentence, and the title of this post, is flamebait. Most of the rest of the post tries to be reasonable though… 🙂 Well, it tries…
(**) As I keep trying to point out, comments on this blog are simply my opinion. There is no “Atheist Doctrine” which I can quote. There is no Atheist Commandments which I must adhere to. Despite the thinking (for want of a better word) of some theists, Dawkins is not the High Priest of Atheism.
[tags]Ayn Rand,Parabiodox, Christian, Atheist, Anti-Atheist, Logic, Logical Arguments, Belief, Religion, Theism,Philosophy, Culture, flamebait, Doctrine, Holy Book, Dawkins, Richard Dawkins, Toutatis[/tags]