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Why are atheists so awesome?

Posted: May 9th 2008

Dave Hitt www

Why are atheists so awesome?

Magic.

Once you’ve been an atheist for a few years, you’ll be visited by a tiny fairy named Marge. Marge will ask you if you’d like to be awesome. A very few of the staunchest atheists will say “Fairies don’t exist, therefore you must be a figment of my imagination. Go away.” They will either remain un-awesome for the rest of their lives, or have to achieve awesomeness on their own.

Most of us, however, eagerly say yes. Marge then sprinkles us with some silvery dust and we instantly become awesome. The effect is permanent, and can only be negated by suddenly believing in religious dogma.

Because this experience is so counter to our world view, this is the atheists most closely guarded secret. So please don’t tell anyone.

Posted: September 16th 2008

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bitbutter www

Not all atheists are awesome. To borrow from the same vernacular, some atheists suck too! Not believing in gods is no guarantee against being an unpleasant person, as people like Stalin and Pol Pot have demonstrated.

In my experience though, people who self identify as atheists are almost always friendly, intelligent and interesting to talk with. I think that in cultures where religious belief is widespread, or where people are largely apathetic towards matters of belief, if a person self-identifies as an atheist it’s usually a sign that they are prepared to examine their beliefs carefully, that they are intellectually honest and that they have a thirst for knowledge; all positive characteristics in my opinion.

Posted: May 11th 2008

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flagellant www

I’m not sure quite what you mean by the question but I’m going to take it that you are asking why atheists are so 'inspiring’ or 'inspirational’. The answer to that is relatively simple.

Atheists are thoughtful and reflective; they do not 'shoot from the hip’, instinctively. Those that I know always give carefully considered answers and, if those on this panel are anything to go by, if they do not know the answer to a question, they are big enough to say so. However, if they can find the answer by diligent research, then they’ll spend time finding out.

I know of no atheist who is so certain in his/her atheism that they will not entertain the very, very slight possibility that God exists. In reflecting about such an immanence, though, they will always be careful to describe the possibility in statistical terms. They’ll never claim to 'know’ that God doesn’t exist in the crass way that believers ('hopers’, really) say things like: 'I know Jesus is the son of god, my personal saviour’. Atheists know that 'knowing’ something is not the same as 'feeling’ it.

Basically, atheists are people who use reason to come to conclusions. They are not devoid of feeling or emotion but they recognise the limitations of 'gut feeling’ and, ultimately, that knowledge is empowering.

Finally, you will not find atheists perpetually preaching atheism, but you’ll hear them or read them talking about the wonders of the World. They’ll talk about academic subjects like philosophy, ethics in particular, and of how Science gives us evidence which has helped human civilisation to throw off the shackles of its superstitious past. All the atheists I know personally are actually interesting and fun to be with.

Posted: May 11th 2008

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brian thomson www

If I thought I could inspire real Awe, I wouldn’t be in front of a computer, I’d be fronting my own Cult! Is there a better way to make money while being waited on, hand and foot, by as many women as you could want? If it worked for Elron, it could work for me…

Posted: May 10th 2008

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logicel

Atheists are awesome? Has a nice alliterative ring to it.

Atheists in America (American atheists are awesome!) are often regarded as second-class citizens, so in a similar manner of African-Americans coining Black is Beautiful back in the 1960’s, I can see the positive aspects of tooting one’s horn.

Despite the danger of dampening down the alliteration, I would add the word new: The new atheists are awesome!

The new atheists have similar solid arguments as the old atheists, but they no longer deign respect for religion, and consistently and loudly subject religion to the same criticism that other ideas are subjected.

However, what really is awesome is the ability to use critical thinking and to courageously defend and promote it. It is conceivable that one can be an atheist that has not really thought out the non-theist position and has glommed onto the atheist bandwagon as a lark, or for a bit of rebellion, etc.

Though Sam Harris has caused quite a stir in emphasizing that labeling oneself as an atheist can pigeonhole oneself – making it easier for theists and apologists for religion to target just the label and not the arguments – I think that there is room for feeling good about being an atheist and for focusing on new atheism as a movement to counter the theocratic trend that has been present for way too long in America.

Posted: May 10th 2008

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