Atheism/Associations thereof/Argument quality
Watching all those panel discussions and debates on religion available nowadays on the youtube, I often catch myself wondering if the very term ‘atheist’ is a happy and apt choice for the rather complex state of today’s human awareness. History books remind us of many movements and revolutions that have strayed off the intended path merely because the interpretation of its cause had become vague or misleading.
My impression is that quite many of those who find themselves hesitant when considering the atheistic option, are somewhat confused by and, perhaps, even wary of the associations that the word ‘atheist’ implies nowadays. And I don’t mean the various degree of either agnosticism or militancy in the ranks. In view of the approach widely observed in foreign policy, where ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’, atheists are no longer alone in being called ‘enemies’ of the Church. Today’s atheists could easily be perceived as either ‘also gays’ or ‘pro-abortionists by persuasion’ or ‘communists on the side’ or ‘the over-the-limits filthy joke pushers’.
I find the atheism idea becoming a bit distracted (if not diluted or, god forbid, even hijacked). Quite a few celebrities, while speaking on TV as atheists, will sooner or later tend to stress their being gay. I happen to represent none of the abovementioned hidden side agendas and to emphasize this ‘purity’, am ready to come up with a new description for myself – ‘Stratheist’. To those who are still clueless, it implies – Straight + Atheist.
Was it Richard Dawkins or Bill Maher quoting him, who said that ‘you can’t reason them (christians) out of their faith if they entered christianity not by reason’. I suggest that a proven old method of arguing be brought into the debate, namely that of exclusion. I believe it would have its merits against the clergy’s claim over the morality monopoly:
1. Even a die-hard religious fundamentalist would feel obliged to acknowledge the immense contribution to human welfare, development, culture, health care etc., that science has made possible through the centuries. How about the Wikipedia’s 233 (!) Nobel Prize winning atheists listed in the Science and Technologies category alone? If by the Holy Bible atheists are destined to be sent to burn in hell eternally, would it not be at least slightly embarrassing for the all-loving Almighty and his followers?
2. How come the least religious states like Estonia, Sweden. Norway and Denmark are also the least corrupt ones in the world? It is hardly a secret that in those Gallup revealed 100% – 99% religiosity soaked third world non-democracies corruption remains a daily name-of-the-game reality.
I will end with a quote from Luis Bunuel, the cinema great: ‘Thank God I’m an atheist!’