Got this meme from the excellent Ministry of Truth and as it tied in with my thinking at the mo and also wasn't a forced meme, I thought I'd do it. If anyone wants to do the same, please do and leave me a comment so I know to check it out. Here goes...
Q1. How would you define ‘atheism’?
Not believing in any of the numerous gods out there and challenging religious thinking. Also a stance against anything supernatural or without a basis in evidence based practice and reason.
Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?
No, lucky enough to have a Dad that believes in nothing and a Mum who is only a Christian (in the loosest sense) in emergencies and for comfort, however, as it was fashionable in the 80's to get your kids Christened, I was, at the age of 12. I felt very daft having a priest put his wet fingers on my head. This lead to a brief phase reading the bible and looking to Jesus for answers, needless to say he gave none.
Q3. How would you describe ‘Intelligent Design’, using only one word?
Q4. What scientific endeavour really excites you?
The continued advances in evolution and the insights gained into the development of humankind and our fellow animals is pretty fascinating but I suppose all the advances in physics and the knowledge around the beginning of time and the rules that govern the greater universe. Big questions are very exciting, things that challenge the mind on the bizarreness of time and space.
Q5. If you could change one thing about the ‘atheist community’, what would it be and why?
Well the fact there isn't an atheist community is a bit of a problem, so I'd change that and develop a legion of people who base their lives on reason and evidence and the joy of the wonderful world we've been blessed with, with a remit to continue investigating the world and our environs
It'd be nice if the atheist community was more vocal in its challenges to what is taken as a given with regards to the infection of religion in our cultures and the damage it causes.
Q6. If your child came up to you and said ‘I’m joining the clergy’, what would be your first response?
Any child of mine is free to make whatever choices they want, so I would accept it and love them all the same but always remind them that I take an opposite stance to them. I'm hoping that I will raise my child in an environment where religion or not, is a free choice and I will furnish them with all the facts and information so they can make up their own mind but I will certainly not bring religion into the home or use it as a cheap out for all the tough questions they may ask.
Q7. What’s your favourite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?
I find arguments with theistic people tedious and annoying because eventually they pull the faith card (ie: we need no evidence, we have a feeling) and tell me to prove there is no god. When I say there is no need to prove it because there is no evidence to prove it in the first place, they think I'm ducking the questions.
It's all very frustrating because they eventually don't take on the basic principles of reasoned, evidence based debate, they just go off on one. One of my favourites however, is to ask them how old the earth is and if they believe that women should be locked away whilst on their period, this usually shuts them up or gets them bogged down in their unique 'interpretation' of the bible/religious book they believe in.
Q8. What’s your most ‘controversial’ (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?
I don't know if it is controversial really but I no longer have a liberal tolerance to backward thinking religious values and am a lot more hard line in my feelings regarding religion being something that holds humanity back.
Q9. Of the ‘Four Horsemen’ (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?
Can't pick, they all connect to me in different ways, although Harris's stuff about meditation and whatnot confused me. So Dawkins I suppose as Hitchens can be a bit of a prick.
Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?
The Pope, then the rest would hopefully follow.