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Archive for January 2nd, 2009

Atheism

 

An Evil Pope?

An Evil Pope?

Until recently I was not sure that I was an atheist. I always thought to myself that I was agnostic, I did not believe in one god over another. Zeus was as plausible as Amon Ra, in my particular view they all hold they same probability. If one existed then they all should.

For Christmas I received a copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. When I started to read it I realized that the probability for any god was effectively zero so this and my previous assumption logically led to there being no gods. I was finally able to admit to myself that I am an atheist.

One point raised in the first part of the book was how it is hard for people to tell others that they are atheist. I read this before going to Christmas dinner with my family (small dinner only about twelve relatives) and most are Catholic or were raised Catholic (okay all but myself were raised Catholic). I thought about how hard it would be to tell them I am an atheist and especially how to bring it up. I don’t know if I ever will unless directly asked. 

However at school with friends it is quite easy to say I an atheist, I know that at least several of my friends are as well. Oddly the two philosophy majors I know well are both atheist, they tend to be quite vocal about it. Dawkins writes that being atheist in the current culture of America is like being Gay in the 50’s. I saw a very little bit of this with my family (they would be fine with it) but I do live in a fairly liberal area and go to school in one (the San Francisco Bay Area and UC Santa Barbara). I bet it will be harder if I go to graduate school in Montana, Wisconsin and maybe New Hampshire (though I don’t much about New Hampshire). 

I know it is commonly said that one should not discuss religion or politics but where is the fun in that?

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