- If you believe in truth. If you think truth is worth great effort to find. If it is unthinkable for you to base your life on a lie even if it benefits you greatly. You can't imagine that being a good thing for other people either. Truth matters but we can't prove that from science.
- If you think the people in your life have great dignity. We can't actually prove that people are important. We can say we are important and those we are in relationship with are important but that is pretty subjective.
- If you get morally outraged at things. Did the Catholic sexual abuse scandal make you angry or did you just say "different strokes for different folks?" What about the shooting of the teenage girl in Pakistan who advocated for the education of girls? Nazi's? Anything.
- If you have a sexual morality. Many atheists are pretty conservative sexually. They are faithful in their marriage. They don't want their kids to see smut. Many are more permissive. Still almost all have a line they won't cross. They draw it in very different places but they don't really believe there is not right and wrong when it comes to sexuality.
- If you think your life has meaning. You don't just focus your life on sex and drugs and rock'n roll. You try and accomplish something. Anything. You might even demand your children pursue something more than their own pleasure as well.
- If you give thanks. Thanksgiving is so natural we have a special day for it. When life goes well do you feel a sense of gratitude?
- If you go to a funeral and the reality of death feels deeply wrong to you. You might even find yourself talking to your loved one.
- If you love someone with a deep self-sacrificing love. Something that is more than just brain chemistry. Something you might even die for.
- If you feel guilty when you do something bad and wonder if something bad might happen to you. If you want to make things right.
- If you become overwhelmed by beauty. A piece of art. An elegant argument. An intricately complex biological system.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
You Might Be An Inconsistent Atheist If ...
The list is not complete but you get the idea. Saying you only believe in science and reason is a big deal. It does not just mean you don't go to church. It means you deny the significance of some of the most powerful moments in life. It is very hard for a real human being to embrace that doctrine fully and consistently. I think atheism taken to its logical conclusion is the most oppressive of all religions.