Friday, July 20, 2007

Short Anwers to Hemant's Questions

From FriendlyAtheist, reposted from my comments there.

Why do you not believe in God?

I see no evidence or need for such a being to exist. Reality is better explained by leaving such a being out.

Where do your morals come from?

Selfishness and empathy - that guy is getting mugged. How would I want others to react if it were me being mugged? Etc.

What is the meaning of life?

I create my own meaning for my own life. I’m personally fond of the goal “have grandchildren” - the idea that I can propagate beings similar to me into the future is cool. But there are other meanings for my life, too.

Should atheists be trying to convince others to stop believing in God?

Yes - religion isn’t the only cause of society’s problems, but it’s one of the major stumbling blocks.

Weren’t some of the worst atrocities in the 20th century committed by atheists?

Sure, but Stalin didn’t commit his deeds for Godlessness.

Why does the universe exist?

Who knows? Certainly not the priests. That it exists at all is good enough for me at this point.

How did life originate?

self-replicating chemicals came to be billions of years ago, and then through descent with modification, became complex organisms.

What’s so bad about religious moderates?

When the chips are down, they side with the fundies every time.

Is there anything redeeming about religion?

The music can be beautiful, and community has its advantages. I’d rather not tie up community with obeisance to fanciful myths, though.

What if you’re wrong about God (and He does exist)?

If the Christian god does exist, I still wouldn’t worship him. He’s a monstrous sociopath. (I pick on Yahweh here because I'm most familiar with him. Don't get the idea that other gods are much better.)

Shouldn’t all religious beliefs be respected?

No. I’ll tolerate you having silly superstitions, but I’m still going to snicker at you for having them. Likewise, you can snicker at me for being a nerd, if you like. Or for not liking sports. Or not believing in gods.

How do you deal with the historical Jesus if you don’t believe in his divinity?

If Jesus was a person and not an amalgamation of wandering messiahs and ancient myths, then he had some good ideas mixed in with some crazy ones.

What happens when we die?

Our bodies decompose, and our loved ones carry their memories of us with them into the future.


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