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In search of greener grass?

Interrupting my irregularly scheduled apatheism, I bring you the following irony…

A video gone viral recently among the Christian blogosphere argues that religion should be shunned.

A video gone viral recently among the atheist blogosphere argues that religion should be emulated.

Well, perhaps that’s oversimplifying things a bit, but you have to appreciate the surprising switcheroo.

If you’re going to watch just one video, I recommend the second.  Its point is that religion provides us –  atheists included – many of the things we need to prosper – things such as a moral framework, and community.  Even as societies abandon religion, the needs it fulfills remain.  The question the video answers is how best to do that, and with what.  Its title is apt: Atheism 2.0.

I found the first video interesting from the perspective of a student of the religious phenomenon.  It explicitly agrees with many of the critiques of religion made by the so-called new atheists, which suggests a significant influence even among believers.  But it takes the bold tact of attempting to divorce Christianity from religion by redefining the former.  Historically and theologically, I find that a daunting and problematic – if not predictable – task.  Christianity 259,761.0.

So what’s this about apatheism?

Increasingly, I feel that arguing over the existence of god is like arguing over the existence of the Tooth Fairy.  The arguments for such a being or beings just seem silly to me, and become more flabbergasting when they involve the claims of particular religions.  If you’re a believer unable to relate, consider your stance vis-à-vis Scientology.  The question of its truth is something you likely find patently absurd, hardly worth sparing a moment of your time for.  This is how I presently feel about the god question.

Nonetheless, I continue to enjoy identifying incoherencies in religious belief.  I’ve lately been thinking about faith; in particular, how a religious believer can justify it for themself, but dismiss it of others.  Hopefully, a blog post with some scattered thoughts will see the light of day soon.

The gods don’t allow freedom of religion

Isn’t it ironic? Believers the world over cry especially loudly whenever their right to worship is infringed, but their own gods deny you this right.  If I practice any other than the god’s officially approved religion, I’ll be tortured forever.  Many countries where freedom of religion is proscribed come under heavy criticism, but if those critics are religious themselves, on what basis do they object?  At least the theocratic leaders of those countries are being consistent.  And why not?  Isn’t their god’s law above man’s?  If you truly believe you have the truth and everything else is falsehood,  then why not make your own religion the law of the land?  Granting others the right of belief suggests doubt in your own.

This Blog’s Purpose

Humans are quintessentially social animals, and the Internet offers opportunities for interaction never before experienced in our history. Since 1993 I’ve traversed this new medium, in countless ways, variously exploring new ground or remaining within my favorite haunts.  The net is inherently a part of me.  It connects me to the world.  It makes humanity a little larger than it has ever been, and I feel I’m contributing a small part to this positive development.

I love discussion, but have never been very good at thinking off-the-cuff.  I need time to collect, consider, and express my thoughts.  The web is thus an ideal platform for me, and I’ve made continual use of it, from Usenet, to discussion boards, to blogs.  Discussion of this type offers an ideal way to expand my knowledge, to interact, and yes, sometimes to simply sound off.

This blog will be my soapbox.  Readers will not be treated to a single topic, but a diversity.  You may not agree with my opinions, but if you challenge them (and I hope you will), be prepared for a spirited and informed debate.