Via Kafir Girl, I noticed that a new meme has sprung up ex nihilo. My little ego is sensitive enough that, even though we haven’t been tagged yet, I ASSUME we will be soon enough. May as well go ahead and save time by responding now. Unfortunately, my answers are likely to be extremely boring, as you’re about to find out.
Can You Remember The Day That You Officially Became An Atheist?
Erm, yeah, I suppose that would be September 9, 1974, when I was born.
However, I wasn’t a thoughtful atheist until I got challenged around the age of six. I remember chatting with a school friend in Alabama, who couldn’t really wrap his mind around the concept — “Who created the universe, then?” I didn’t have an answer. I asked my dad the physicist, “Do we believe The Nothing created the universe?” He was delighted to give me a kid-level rundown of what we know about cosmology, and I started thinking about the implications of my non-belief after that.
Do you remember the day you officially became an agnostic?
Not as dumb a question as you might think in my case. The concept of an agnostic-atheist wasn’t really a notion in my mind until after some long discussions with fellow ACA members. However, until college I possessed some of the arrogant certainty of youth. Ironically, while theists warn their kids about the faith-destroying influence of academia, having to write and defend arguments in early classes really made me take the question of “What if you’re wrong?” seriously for the first time.
I tried some experimental prayer. As George Carlin pointed out, it works about 50% of the time. Unless, of course, you pray for something really specific and unlikely, and then it doesn’t work at all. Nevertheless, I still don’t outright dismiss the question “What if you’re wrong,” and still keep an eye out for the possibility that additional evidence might pop up. My dad thinks this is too soft a position. It’s one of our few serious disagreements.
Did anger towards God or religion help cause you to be an atheist or agnostic?
Here is a good one: Were you agnostic towards ghosts, even after you became an atheist?
I can’t remember ever really taking the idea of ghosts seriously. Interestingly, this is a position that is apt to get me called “closed minded” even by some people who you think would know better.
Do you want to be wrong?
I’ll be blunt: I’m not down with this whole “dying” thing. There’s a song that used to play on the radio often, about only having a hundred years to live. It was very wistful and I had to turn it off when it started, because it depressed the hell out of me. As Woody Allen said, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.”
Other than that, no. Reality pwns religion.
I’m going to take the lazy way of forwarding this meme, because I don’t frequent many atheist blogs that aren’t already famous enough to have somebody else forward it. However, Martin, Matt, Tracie, Don, and Jen can all add their answers in if they want to.
Besides that, I offer one fairly new atheist blog that nobody’s ever seen before: Tommy Holland, you’re it. (The name is a pseudonym. “Tommy” was a convert several years ago, I knew him when he was nominally Christian.)