1. Dick the Damned says

    A neat one-liner, Barbara, & absolutely true, for us. But it isn’t true for a lot of folk.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    There are many situations in life where there is only one “rational, thinking choice”, but where reasonable people make some other decision for non-rational but understandable reasons.

    I offer you the following options: I’m going to slightly physically disfigure your child in a visible way, causing them some minor discomfort for a limited period – perhaps I’m going to cut their face leaving their eyebrow bisected by a scar. Or, entirely on your sayso if you say you’re prefer it, I’m going to kill a similarly aged child you’ve never met in a country you couldn’t point to on a map. You have no other options, and I can’t be stopped. Pick one.

    The rational, thinking option is to let me set about your kid with my knife, isn’t it? A few moments discomfort, a scar they may come to consider cool, no terrible harm done, a life saved. Know any parents who’d take that option? Most parents I know would rather I tortured and killed an entire family in Azerbaijan than mark their little darling’s skin with a felt-tip pen.

    Also, one might reasonable append the phrase “assuming one lives in a society where being an atheist does not put one at risk of physical attack or judicial sanction.” We are not all so lucky as to live in such a place.

  3. pinkey says

    Geez sonofrojblake, it almost sounds like you’re attacking Barbara for her position because not enough other people share her rational attitude.

    And Lofty, PZ picks in random order. For all we know this was the first such submission. :)

    I don’t mind the one-liners for their accuracy, and certainly agree with the content, but I do prefer the personal touch of these “why I’m an atheist” stories.

  4. Aratina Cage says

    I would argue that choice has nothing to do with reaching the conclusion that there are no gods and no supernatural things, but I agree that too many people do not (actually, cannot at this time) think about it deeply enough. There are lots of incentives to not investigate the truth claims of theism (such as undue respect given to theistic wargarblers, the language of deities being littered throughout our most respected institutions, etc.) and lots of disincentives around investigating those truth claims (public shame being among the top). It’s been made too easy for people to go along with the norm, so they do.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    No attack expressed or implied. Grateful I live somewhere I can express my atheism openly without it affecting my safety or career.

  6. kreativekaos says

    Aratina Cage @ 5:

    Well expressed. You could add to your incentives not to investigate, things like fear (of many things, cultural/familial obedience, peer pressure to conform, etc., etc.