We Are The Change We Seek
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This isn't where I thought I was going to be when I looked forward into my life, but here I am....

Yes We Can

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"Atheist Q&A"

I got this from Derek who got it from ERV.

Q1. How would you define "atheism"?

Lack of belief in an intelligent, all-powerful being which created and controls the universe. The same goes for the plural.

Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?

I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, which I qualify as a fundamentalist Christian religion. They hold many extreme views and many different views from what most people would consider "fundamentalist" views, but they hold very strictly to the Bible. Despite my disagreement with JWs in general, I still believe they are at least living closer to what the Bible says than most other Christian religions.

I was baptized at ... 12? My memory on it is rough. I went door to door almost every weekend preaching "The Truth" which is what they call it. I gave sermons in church (they call them "talks" and I did this because the clergy/laity distinction in JWs is very thin).

Q3. How would you describe "Intelligent Design", using only one word?

I think Derek nailed it with "unscientific."

Q4. What scientific endeavor really excites you?

That's a tough one for me, I have two answers. Quantum research is the first. It doesn't necessarily get me out of my chair screaming, "DUDE! THAT IS SO COOL" but I think in the future it is going to be the research that alters our view of the universe at a core level. I don't believe in a God, but I do believe in Qi because of some first-hand experiences. I think that quantum research will eventually give us the scientific understanding of Qi.

The second answer, the one that often DOES get me out of my chair screaming are the efforts to make our machines work more like living creatures.

Q5. If you could change one thing about the "atheist community", what would it be and why?

Some atheists are just too militant. They want the freedom to be able to believe whatever they want.... and then are jerks to people who don't believe the same way they do. I understand where they are coming from, but it's the same thing the militant Christians are doing. No good.

Q6. If your child came up to you and said "I'm joining the clergy", what would be your first response?

If they were still very young, I'd do my best to teach them what I've learned and guide them away from that choice. If they were my child but no longer a kid, then I'd accept it and continue loving them.

Q7. What's your favorite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?

Hm, I don't think I have a favorite. Maybe the argument that non-belief is God is just as faith-based as belief in God. On the spectrum of belief---agnostic---atheist they believe the default position is agnosticism. I usually try to bring up example after example of ridiculous things to believe in and ask them if they don't believe or if they aren't sure.

Q8. What's your most "controversial" (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?

The belief in Qi.

Q9. Of the "Four Horsemen" (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?

I don't really read them, so I don't have an opinion on it.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?

I thought about several different answers for this, including people like the Pope or the President of the US (suggestions made by Derek and Brainsalad)... but in the end, whichever person I was able to change would only be the one to change. Even if the Pope changed, he'd just be vilified and disregarded. People don't believe in this stuff because one guy tells them to, they believe in it because they have been indoctrinated since and/or they were in a bad place in their lives and needed something to hang their hope on. So, if I had to choose someone, it would be someone in my personal life... but I don't want to. It's something that each person has to decide for themselves.

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