Many religious people — like Ken Ham, Bill O’Riley, and many others — think all atheists are arrogant. I’ve run into this many times in the 35 years since I realized God wasn’t real.
I admit I’ve known some arrogant atheists, but I can only think of three or four. I’ve known many more atheists who were humble, kind, intelligent, thoughtful, and all around good people. The kind of people you’d love to have visiting in your home.
This young man says it best.
Check out his other videos at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG1uayRlzz3ahT8ISRdyw7Q
On this date in 1941, evolutionary biologist and freethought champion Richard Dawkins was born in Nairobi. His father had moved to Kenya from England during the Second World War to join the Allied Forces and the family returned to England in 1949.
Dawkins graduated from Oxford in 1962, earned his doctorate, became assistant professor of zoology at the University of California at Berkeley 1967-1969 and a fellow of New College in 1970.
The Selfish Gene, his first book, published in 1976, became an international bestseller. It and the award-winning Blind Watchmaker were translated into all major languages.
His other books include The Extended Phenotype (1982), River Out of Eden (1995), Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), Unweaving the Rainbow (1998) and A Devil’s Chaplain (2003). His 2006 iconoclastic book, The God Delusion, which he wrote with the public hope of turning believing readers into atheists, became a bestseller in both the UK and the U.S.
Dawkins has held the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science since 1995, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997. He is married to actress and artist Lalla Ward, who has illustrated several of his books and other works.
Dawkins has advanced the concept of cultural inheritance or “memes,” also described as “viruses of the mind,” a category into which he places religious belief. He has also advanced the “replicator concept” of evolution.
A passionate atheist, Dawkins has coined the memorable term “faith-heads” to describe certain religionists. Since his remarks in The Guardian (Feb, 6, 1999): “I’m like a pit bull terrier being released into the ring, as a spectator sport, to attack religious people . . .,” Dawkins is now affectionately known as “Darwin’s pit bull.”
Dawkins, a vice president of the British Humanist Association, was named Humanist of the Year in 1999. He is the 1997 winner of the International Cosmos Prize, and received an Emperor Has No Clothes Award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 2001. His column for The Observer (“Children Must Choose Their own Beliefs,” Dec. 30, 2001) pointed out: “We deliberately set up, and massively subsidise, segregated faith schools (Note: In the UK, where he lives). As if it were not enough that we fasten belief-labels on babies at birth, those badges of mental apartheid are now reinforced and refreshed. In their separate schools, children are separately taught mutually incompatible beliefs.”
Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he eloquently warned in a Guardian column, “Religion’s Misguided Missiles” (Sept. 15, 2001): “To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used.”
“My respect for the Abrahamic religions went up in the smoke and choking dust of September 11th. The last vestige of respect for the taboo disappeared as I watched the ‘Day of Prayer’ in Washington Cathedral, where people of mutually incompatible faiths united in homage to the very force that caused the problem in the first place: religion. It is time for people of intellect, as opposed to people of faith, to stand up and say ‘Enough!’ Let our tribute to the dead be a new resolve: to respect people for what they individually think, rather than respect groups for what they were collectively brought up to believe.”
—-“Time to Stand Up,” written for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Sept. 2001. See Dawkins’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award
When I say I’m an atheist, this is exactly what I mean. Simply that I don’t believe God is real. Any god.
I think many people don’t understand lack of belief. When I say I don’t have a belief in any god, that does NOT mean I think there are no gods. That’s a different thing, and I may actually believe that. Or I may not. (In my own case, I do also believe there is no god; but that’s NOT what makes me an atheist.)
The prefix a means non or none or not. Therefore, an a-theist is simply a non-theist. A person without a god.
Maybe it’s a subtle distinction, but it’s real. Atheism is not a belief; it’s the lack of a belief.
The quote he exposes says that an atheist is a “believer in fairy tales.” This is incredibly ironic, since we are the ones who do NOT believe the fairy tales.
To an atheist, God is as fictional as Zeus or Thor. Or the tooth fairy.
I think this may be the guy I wrote about yesterday. Remember? The one who said, “God is watching over us” while eleven people died? Be wary of this man.
I just found this guy’s picture on Facebook and thought I ought to post it here, because you probably know him. If not, you almost certainly know somebody like him.
He’s conservative; he probably votes Republican, though he’ll tell you he’s politically independent; and he thinks the United States is a Christian nation, even though our Constitution never mentions Christ. He loves sinners–well, except maybe faggots and godless, atheistic secular humanists–and wants to save them from themselves and the world from them. He honors the presidency of the United States, but despises our President; and he loves our country so much he wants to tear up the Constitution and establish a theocracy. By force, if necessary.
He’ll tell you climate change is “the biggest fraud ever perpetrated against the American people,” even as we complete the hottest year in the history of climate studies. He’ll lie to your face and claim it’s not true that 13 of the 14 hottest years on record have been since the turn of this century and the other one was 1998. He’ll laugh about the possibility that sea level could rise enough to notice, even while small island nations prepare to be swallowed up by the waves.
He’ll say that “if you tell your kids they came from animals, they’ll act like animals.” Then he’ll claim we were all made out of dirt.
This man is a Fundamentalist. What makes him dangerous is not just that he’s so wrong about so many things, but that he’s absolutely certain he is right about them. Ask him what could potentially shake his faith in his beliefs and he’ll probably answer truthfully, “Absolutely nothing.” He is so certain, in fact, that he wants you to live your life according to the dictates of his conscience.
Saudi Arabia is ruled by men just as certain of their wrong ideas. Iran is ruled by men just as certain of their wrong ideas. North Korea is ruled by a man just as certain of his wrong ideas. America needs leaders who get their ideas and ideals from science and reason and compassion, and who understand they might be wrong about anything they believe and willing to learn better.
Violent storms ripped through the North Texas area late Saturday, spawning tornadoes that killed 11 people, damaged more than 100 homes, and destroyed at least 39 others. Destruction was widespread and terrible in Dallas, Garland, Rowlett, and nearby areas.
I found this post on Facebook, and it expresses my thoughts perfectly.
I couldn’t find the quote, but I have no doubt somebody said it. It’s the kind of stupid thing somebody always says.
God gets thanks but not blame?
A tornado kills people and wrecks homes and property and God gets thanks because it wasn’t worse. People forget God is reputedly the One Who sent the tornado in the first place.
If He gets credit for the good, why doesn’t He get blame for the devastation He apparently sent?
If God was “watching over” somebody, it must not have been those eleven people who died. Or the many more who were injured. Or those who lost their homes.
An all-powerful god who could help a few people could just as easily have saved everybody, if He wanted to. So the question has to become, “Why didn’t He want to?”
Why did God only “watch over” some people?
Isn’t He supposed to be a god of love? Well, do loving people let other people suffer and die when they could easily prevent it?
And that’s not all.
Days of violent storms caused chaos on highways across the South and raised the death toll to at least a total of 28.
Yeah, God was watching over us, all right.
If a loving, all-powerful god had been watching out for us, there would have been no tornado. Any 8-year-old ought to understand that.
Yet leaders and followers alike feel their faith has been strengthened after every disaster. Why? Because THEY didn’t die. So they “know” their Imaginary Friend was looking out for them.
Just them, and nobody else? Well, them and whoever else was lucky enough to have survived.
Most of us were just lucky. That’s all.
Why can’t people just realize they were lucky? Lots of people were lucky, but others suffered and died. No loving God watched over North Texas Saturday night.
In fact, there is not the slightest shred of convincing evidence that any god even exists.
Dr. Tarico, known to her friends as Valerie, is a highly intelligent and outspoken atheist, as well as a trained psychologist. Her Youtube channel says this about her:
Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings. She is actively engaged in dialogue that aims to find common ground between theists and freethinkers, in particular by focusing on humanity’s shared moral core. She is a founder of WisdomCommons.org, an interactive site that allows users to discuss virtues that emerge repeatedly across secular and religious wisdom traditions. Her “TrustingDoubt” channel on Youtube offers tips and insights for recovering fundamentalists.
I met her online a few years ago when she sent me an article about science and religion for my previous website, NoBull.ws. I’ve also reported on one of her books, Leaving the Fold – A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion, on this blog. I’ve enjoyed participating in (mostly by reading) her WisdomCommons. Valerie has always been congenial, but forthright about what she believes. Just the kind of person I like!
Recovering From Religion
Valerie’s path to recovering from religion was different from mine, but equally traumatic. I identify with her thoroughly.
It’s 49:21 long, but it’s worth every second. This guy is educated (he’s a school teacher) and well informed on the subject he’s talking about (that atheists have morals, too), He has a master’s degree in theology. He’s polite, very articulate, and he doesn’t try to speak for all atheists. He seems to remember (as many don’t) that an atheist is just somebody who doesn’t believe in God — or any other god — and that’s the only thing we have in common. But, in many ways, that’s enough.
Many religious people like to claim there can be no “objective morality” — whatever that is — without a god. If by objective morality they mean universal or unchanging morality, well, very few of them want that any more than I do. They just think they do. More accurately, they don’t think about it. Stoning for picking up sticks on the Sabbath Day? (Saturday, by the way. Sunday has never been the Sabbath.)
Stoning non-virgin brides? Or for unruly children? Slavery? Forced marriage to their attackers for rape victims? Slaughter of every individual — old men, women, children, tiny babies, and even the livestock and pets — in the country of your enemy when you win a war?
This is objective morality.
This is the “objective morality” of the Old Testament. It isn’t good now, and it wasn’t good then. It was horrible! It’s the kind of “objective morality” you get from the Christians’ god. From some other gods, it’s even worse!
We’ve improved our morality considerably in the last 3,000 years, because it’s not eternal. It’s not “objective.” We’re able to change it as we better learn what’s good for people and societies. We still have a long way to go, but we’re gradually getting there.
Let’s hear it for a better, more flexible morality.
I’m glad we have a morality that can mature and improve as we learn and think. Who cares whether it’s “objective” or not?
When we learned about the former pastor Jerry DeWitt’s struggles with being an “outed” atheist in rural Louisiana, we realized for the first time just how difficult being an atheist can be in some communities, where religion is woven deeply into the social fabric.
In 2013, Jerry DeWitt, an ex-pastor formed an atheist congregation in a coffee shop. “People do not choose to be atheists,” he said. “They realize they are.”
People wonder why I chose to be an atheist. When I try to explain it was not a choice, most don’t believe. They say things like, “It was your choice to be an atheist, and you can choose to accept Jesus as your Saviour.”
No, I can’t. And I don’t want to any more. But when I realized in the fall of 1982 that my God was nothing but myth, I didn’t want to believe it. I believed it because I had to. It was the only thing that made sense. (I’ve told my story before, and you can find it under the Personal menu above.)
It had taken me about 12 years to come to this conclusion, but I admitted to myself one day at a specific time that I no longer believed.
It was not a decision to stop believing. It was an admission to myself that, against my own will, I had already stopped believing. At the time, it was extremely painful; but I got over it.