left biblioblography: Atheism As Worldview? All Signs Point To...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Atheism As Worldview? All Signs Point To...

who's on first

Cross posted @ God Is For Suckers!

Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third

It's time for reflection. We often hear these pungent canards, enough so that we let courtesy lapse and start going for the jugular.

First, a definition of terms:

  1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
  2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.

So it seems that we as atheists, use a filter that screens out the supernatural. One of my favorite sayings (which, being a brash, outspoken, 'militant' atheist, I use a lot) is, "There's ALWAYS a rational explanation!"

And yes, there always is.

For a large segment of the population (whether they be agnostic, lukewarm or cafe Christian, or what-not), most folks use what I'll refer to as 'general knowledge'. That is to say, that there's no supernatural hand at the wheel. For the most part, this applies to items that we take for granted. Gravity, physics, indigestion, telling little kids not to open jars (best way to get them open!), dogs piddling on hydrants, all those mundane little things that are what they are.

So it's when we get to what some folks regard as the BIG questions, WWWHW (Who, What, Where, How and Why?), is the point where viewpoints diverge.

As Richard Carrier points out in his book Sense & Goodness Without God, theists and atheists agree on common points: the universe exists, it began somewhere/sometime/somewhen/somehow, humanity exists (and we began somewhere), but the details are fodder for multiple arguments on the Interweb or in realtime (and judging from a large part of the 'logic' employed by the other side, obviously natural selection doesn't select via intelligence).

Once you subtract a Who? from the equation, is when there are howls of protest from the peanut gallery. Being as we're such a self-involved, introversive species (and what species isn't? A question that opens yet another can of worms), it's difficult for most to understand that there isn't a Who? involved. Thereby reducing it to WWHW.

For my own part, yes, atheism is a substantial filter. So much so, that when I overhear some theological rubbish, it takes a bit of restraint not to pop in and poke holes in the rationale of the relusional. Gone are the days when some anecdotal 'spooky' story would raise gooseflesh on my arm hairs. Goodbye to the silliness  like "Oh, hey, I was reading a letter from my deceased dad when the LIGHTS FLICKERED!" (Yeah, we don't hear about the millions of times that didn't happen when someone read a note by a deceased relative - yes, because A. it's been done that many times, and B. nothing happened). Adios to the idiocy of "I've been blessed!" Ta-ta to the teleological argument. Hasta la bye-bye to the on high, baby.

So it's difficult to remain polite when someone declares there has to be a who behind the scenes, manipulating us like marionettes with invisible strings. And those people who absolutely insist that there's an invisible hand guiding us along (kinda scary, considering there are actual television shows that uphold this flim-flammery, dren like Touched By An Angel, Saving Grace, or the grand hoax of TV, Medium), then courtesy be damned. More so, when they can't provide a lick of evidence except that they "have a feeling it's so." Yeah, humanity's had a great track record when epistemology's based on that, let me tell ya.

So who was first?

Apparently, no one.

Still waiting for someone to come up with any kind of evidence there's an Almighty Alchemist mixing potions up, working behind the scenes. And yes, I'm open to evidence.

In the meantime, yes, atheism is a worldview.

Till the next post, then.

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Anonymous said...

Actually what you are refering to would be naturalism and rationalism.

Using atheism to screen out God is like using the fact that Tokyo is the capital of Japan to plan a flight there- it is using a fact to make a decision.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hi Sam.
I'd regard those 2 as the cornerstones of atheism, so it'd fall under the umbrella.
Nice analogy - I might thieve that 1.

2believe said...

interesting...plan to send us a blog from the other side when you crossover...I'm sure God has already set up ETERNAL net for you to use...I don't mean to be brash, but, you are so bold in hiding behind your own fear to let go and believe in something that is WAY bigger than you...it is called insecurity and smug...
He really does love you, even if you ignore HIM

Krystalline Apostate said...

2believe - well, you missed the bulls-eye by a country mile. I'm not hiding: if you'd spent some time perusing this blog (which obviously you haven't: you're a hit-'n-run poster), you'd find little fear.
We are not alike, you & I, so stop projecting your why's onto mine.