Friday, August 21, 2009

Nothing Wrong

Ophelia Benson quotes Richard Dawkins and speaks for me here:

It's easy for me to be an atheist, but I'm a nerd living in a big coastal city; the fact that it's easy for me doesn't mean it's easy for everyone. It's not. It's hard for a great many people - it's not a live option - or if it is it's one with a huge price tag attached. And that's bad because there is nothing wrong with being an atheist. It's not a crime, not even a thought-crime. So Dawkins is right - people in the US at least need to know they're not weirdos marooned on Planet Theism, and the only way for them to know that is for it to be true, and the only way for it to be true is for more and more atheists to be openly atheist as opposed to bashfully apologetically silently atheist.
There is nothing wrong with atheism, and there is nothing wrong with questioning received religious beliefs, whether or not this questioning arrives at outright atheism.

Belief in god may well be the norm here in the USA and most places, but that does not make it right. Norms can be wrong. Norms can be unhelpful, ridiculous, even destructive. Belief in god needs to contend for its place along with every other set of ideas, not assume a privileged state merely for the sake of taboo or tradition.

Certainly fear of the unknown should not control here. To live is to gamble -- this truth cuts across all forms of metaphysics. The fact before us all is plainly this: we have a lease with a short due date, before which we can make as much sense of world as possible. Beyond that, reports from the "undiscover'd country" are scattered, varied, contradictory, and far from reliable.

If there is a god as described in the major holy books, he sees all, and this includes the doubts that people labor to smother.

Whoever you are, doubt is a live option for you. There is nothing wrong with doubt.

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