What’s so good about atheism?

Over at The Guardian, their chirpy resident science blogger, GrrlScientist, is mocking “Christianese” – whatever the hell that is. I have no idea. Hit the link and watch the video. I was baffled and bored within 78 seconds.

I ended up wondering, what’s the point? GrrlScientist seems to think she’s helping illustrate the “childish silliness of Christianese to all of those who aren’t Christian”. With this in mind, I hit play expecting a witty and astute dissection of some of the creepier sayings favoured by over-zealous bible-bashers. What I saw was… well, something that made me feel uncomfortable.

Don’t get me wrong. I like sarcasm. I love funny voices. I joyously giggle at the hypocrisy of religious fanatics. I’ve no problem saying I’m a proud atheist. Hey, I even find Richard Dawkins tolerable.

But this video hit a nerve. It really made me think about the amount of time smug secularists spend sniping and sneering at those they see as sectarian simpletons.

I’ve a lot of time for weighty intellectual debate about religion and its net value to society (if any), but I’m beginning to understand why armchair Chomskys and rentagob Russells are so reviled outside the rationalist enclave.

And no, if you’re reading, it’s not that you’re too controversial and iconoclastic for our feeble brains to handle. You’re just really rather tedious. Not to mention capable of pointless, repellant pettiness.

Religion may be “poison”, as Christopher Hitchens argues, but most people who consider themselves religious are totally undeserving of the level of inane scorn represented by that rubbish video.

Sadly, most pro-atheism content I see online is like this. It’s nothing positive, it’s just slagging off those dumb-ass Jesus-folk. There must be more to the secular utopia than this.

If championing the strengths of the enlightenment is so important to respectable atheists like GrrlScientist (as it should be), I’d like to see them spend more time talking up their values, instead of taking the piss.

Here’s a challenge for you all: without even mentioning religion, I want you to tell me what’s so good about atheism?

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6 thoughts on “What’s so good about atheism?

  1. when you were a baby
    you ate your own Turd
    you drank your own Urine
    when you grow old
    you want to act wildest than wild beast animal ever do

    broke the law until your death comes

    that’s all about atheist

  2. Nothing, actually. But then, atheism is simply a position owe on a proposition: we do not accept the claim that any god exists because the burden of proof for the claim has not been met. Nothing more. It is not a worldview, it is not a philosophy, it is not a set of ethics, it is does not tell one how to live one’s life.

    The problem with your implied statement, that atheism is something more, is that atheism describes what we don’t believe, not what we do believe.

    However, I am a secular humanist. And there’s a lot that is great about it. I don’t accept claims for which there is insufficient evidence, not just god-existence claims, bt other extraordinary claims like homeopathy, chiropractic, iridology, etc. All such claims must be tested in order to demonstrate that they are true. And we care that our beliefs can be shown to be valid, not just hope they are. A belief that is not falsifiable is a useless just-so one. Secular humanism allows a set of ethics which is built on fundamental principles like consequentialism, and any system of ethics that is built that way is far superior to some checklist given without any reasoning behind it. Because we believe that this is the only life we get – since there is insufficient evidence for any other – we should make the most of the one we have. We seculasr humanists believe in increasing the well being of those around us because in doing so we enhance our own.

    1. Forgive me. I was conflating the two (atheism and secular humanism) for the sake of simplicity. Atheism is a better-known concept and (I hope you agree) most other ‘shameless’ atheists would also consider themselves secular humanists.

      I’m basically thinking towards a series of easily-understandable, intuitively-positive statements that could hypothetically be used to convert a theist into an atheist (or, more accurately, a secular humanist). Your comment is helpful. Thanks.

  3. Dawkins, Hitchens et al. annoyed and bored me so much with their childish, attention-seeking, carping condenscension that I’ve started attending church again.

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