I was hoping my innocent little remark about being an Atheist would not lead to a big comment-fest. To be honest, It exhausts me to no end the misunderstandings and confusions and loaded-terms that always get re-hashed any time this topic is invoked.
I will try and briefly contribute my take on things, but I don’t have time or desire to delve in too deeply. I’ve spent this week fighting fires at work, and tomorrow at 6am, we’re getting up to hop a flight over to London for three days. I’ll be back on Tuesday, hopefully with some good pictures and a few interesting anecdotes.
Besides being strapped for time and energy to discuss, I also find it is usually pointless. Has an internet debate on theology *ever* changed someone’s mind? Now that I would find hard to believe. Also, Im not going to delude myself that I’m going to contribute anything new or more eloquently worded to the general debate-at-large. Others have more lucidly espoused my viewpoints in the past.
By definition, a good scientist (or any rational person) holds beliefs that are always open to revision based on evidence and rationalized inferences. The whole freaking point is to not hold a unwavering dogmatic belief system. To expressly not have faith. When a true scientist expresses a belief about something, it should not be taken as sloppy, limiting, or hypocritical. But constantly qualifying every belief statement with epistemological caveats gets really tiring and cumbersome. When I say I believe something, can we get past the sophomoric arguments and take the rational caveats as an unstated given?
Another common misrepresentation that humans seem to love making is to incorrectly categorize things down to black-and-white, yes-and-no, coin-flip reasoning. It’s not a 50-50 proposition that the flying spaghetti monster exists. In fact, it is extremely unlikely that it exists. I can’t say it doesn’t, but it’s sure silly to go around pretending it does.
I’m far more comfortable being agnostic towards first-causes than I am about bronze-age mythologies (i.e. most of the popular monotheistic religions). Like the turtles-all-the-way-down comment acknowledges, invoking a God as a creator of the universe is just stacking yet another turtle under our own. It gives no added value or explanatory power, and in fact begs even more questions than it purports to answer.
All that ranting aside, remember: peace, respect, and tolerance are concepts I hope we can all agree on.
And that’s all I have to say about that.