Lunchtime discussions on taking things too far

Well an enjoyable discussion over lunch today brought up what I feel to be my central issue with atheism, which while nebulous during the discussion I pondered more on the wander back to my office. Its not necessarily that I feel its a wrong idea, but that they don’t take their ideas far enough, or that they get fixated on religion.

If you posit that belief in something in the face of evidence of the contrary is a bad plan. And you suspect if it occurs in people of low ethical standards this may lead to them imposing their beliefs on others forceably in the face of dissent (even if mostly ineffectively, low level, day-to-day oppression is still a pain in the arse, check your priviledge) then you need to apply this idea to all beliefs of all stripes.

Religion isn’t special, the cry that I’ve heard a lot recently is true, but neither is politics, geneology, alien abduction, pride in a place or group, rights and responsibilities or art.

The reason that people rag on Communist Russia as the poster child for why Communism is bad is the same reason that people rag on the Catholic church of Rome as the poster child for why Christianity is bad, its the most well known and easy target which has done the most obvious wrong. Once you start splitting hairs about one you need to split hairs about the other, most gestalt entities are actually made up of groups and sub-groups and sub-subgroups all doing slightly different things if you look close enough.

If the idea has occured that you should challenge everything for yourself, think about it and be open to changing what you do and what you think based on evidence you recieve from your own activities then this should apply to everything.

Actually having re-read that I think its just because I used to be an agnostic that makes me want to suggest everyone else doubt stuff.


2 thoughts on “Lunchtime discussions on taking things too far

  1. shanodindryad

    At the moment I consider myself to be an open minded atheist. I have no belief in a religion because I haven’t read enough about most of them to decide if there really is one that I believe to be ‘right’ for me.
    There are some aspects of a lot of religions that I agree with, but not one that I think encompasses the whole thing. I like aspects of LaVayen Satanism, Zen Buddhism, and some ‘Pagan’ religions, but until I come across one which combines the good bits from each, I’ll remain a happily open minded atheist.

  2. atomic_fae

    Hmmmmmm interesting.
    In my experiance most people who claim to be Atheist tend to hold to that position because either 1) its an extreme reaction to having encountered religion and having found it repulsive have moved themselves to the opposite mental attitude or 2) have an extreme rationalist perspective i.e. “if you can’t prove the existance of a deity i dont beleive in it”.
    Im not sure i followed all the reasoning you have up there but it seems like a more thought out perpective than most people who have strong beliefes tend to have :)
    I guess that the problem i personally have with Atheism (and why i also used to consider myself Agnostic) is that to define yourself as Atheist you have to utterly reject the notion that there is any God at all. Its an absolutist position and i have never been very comfortable with absolutes. In either direction.
    Its a big, wide, strange world and frankly i cant help but feel theres room for the potential existance of everything.
    Of course its been a long time since i actually talked to anyone who would consider themselves an Atheist so its entirely possible my position is based on scrambled memories and faulty assumptions.
    In the politest possible way i would ask Shanodindryad this: is an open minded atheist not an agnostic? If you are prepared to conceed that it may be possible for God/Gods to exist doesnt that disqualify you as an atheist? Are you prepared to conceed that?
    I dont want this to turn into an ambush/interrogation i am genuinely interested.


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