There was a very good interview with Michael Shermer yesterday in Salon called The Joys Of Life Without God. He has a very reasonable approach to his atheism (by which I mean he’s not a “militant” atheist who’s as intent on bending religious followers to his will as they are his). His arguments are nothing we haven’t heard before, but he has a great way of putting them:
“When you study world religions, it’s obvious that, throughout time, all of these different people are making up their own stories about God. If you lived 1,000 years ago, hardly anybody would be a Christian. If you were born in India, you’d likely be a Hindu. What does that tell you? From a Christian perspective, it means we need to get more missionaries over there to tell them the truth! From an anthropological perspective, it’s another case. Christians today might say, I don’t believe in Zeus, that was a silly superstition. Yet for many people that was a real god. So it turns out there are 10,000 gods and yet only one right one. That means we’re all atheists on 9,999 gods. The only difference between me and the believers is I’m an atheist on one more god.”
He also touches on an issue that’s always kind of bugged me. Typically I hear people describe agnosticism as the belief in some sort of higher power, but you’re not sure what it is. I never bought that; to me — and I think to Shermer — it’s the idea that, if you think scientifically, whether or not there’s a God is completely irrelevant.
This is how occupied I am with this damned paper: I haven’t even watched the videos Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant did for Microsoft. I at least managed to get a quick walk in after work today, dashing over to Whole Foods to pick up some lunch for tomorrow.
OK, off to do four hours of writing.
[tags]religion, atheism, michael shermer, ricky gervais, microsoft training video[/tags]