The faces of 41 people who have declared themselves to be atheists; I only recognized about half of them, but I think quite a few are celebrities in various media. Via Reddit
, where these (and some notable omissions) are discussed.
Addendum: Nag on the Lake
lists the identities of the persons in the photos.
So... if hell exists, regardless of what it might be like the presence of people who were famous once will make it far more bearable? Or... these celebrities can be trusted in the judgements they make (*cough* look closer) so don't feel bad about your own? Or... it doesn't matter if you're wrong; at least you weren't the only one - any afterlife consequences are a mere irritation?ReplyDelete
I'm not sure the intended point is pressed home that well. ;-)
It's called humor. The only legitimate method of discourse when religion is the subject, because religion and religious concepts, such as the existence of hell, are all a crock of shit.Delete
I'm glad you cleared that up for me. ;-)Delete
Albert Einstein was not an atheist. I am an atheist and I kinda hope I can come to believe what he believed.ReplyDelete
I found some discussion here -Delete
What a bunch of peckerwoods. 'Cept Morgan. They always got a token.ReplyDelete
I prefer the term agnostic, since atheism is a kind of negative belief, a certainty. Whereas, while I see no evidence for what the devout call a god, I'm not willing to aver as a fact that there is not anything beyond what science is capable of knowing.ReplyDelete
Well you either currently believe in god or you don't. If you do, then you're religious. If you don't, then you're an atheist.Delete
Once you've classified yourself as an atheist you are then either agnostic or not. If you're agnostic then you're open to the possibility of god, if proof were shown to you.
There's no grey area really. If you *want* to believe in god but don't, you're just a wishful atheist ;-)
While it's true that atheism is a question of belief and not certainty, agnosticism is NOT about whether you are open to the possibility of a god existing, if proof were shown to you. Agnosticism is the position that the existence of gods is either unknown or unknowable. Far from being 'open to the possibility of god, if proof were shown to you', some agnostics deny that such proof could ever be presented!
I doubt you will find many - perhaps any - atheists who would claim that they are not open to the possibility of god, given proof.
Though many prominent atheists are agnostic atheists (even Richard Dawkins!), it's also possible to be an agnostic theist. Those people believe in the existence of a god, while denying that it is possible to know whether or not that god exists.
I think the last post from Anonymous underscores the problem with the freethinker/non-religious movement. While arguably on the side of reason, they come across as smart-alecs. No one likes a smart-alec, even if they are right.ReplyDelete
Look at the "brights" movement. What a stupid name, even if they are right.
I wasn't being a smart alec. I was explaining how I view the use of the terms atheist/agnostic. Rather than presuming I was being a git, you might have considered that it's hard to read tone in short comments on blogs, though a smiley face usually suggests levity...
Being an atheist doesn't mean you hate Jesus, are completely sure that god is a lie, or want to deprive everyone of their beliefs. The label "atheist" simply denotes absence of belief - it's not a commentary on whether you *want* to believe. By default if you are agnostic, you are an atheist. However an atheist who flatly denies any possibility of existence of a god is just a plain atheist. And also irrational.
PS - when referring to Anonymous comments you should really mention the timestamp. We are legion.
"when referring to Anonymous comments you should really mention the timestamp. We are legion."Delete
Agreed, but I also encourage anons to at least append a name to their comment, or (preferably) use the Name/URL login, which still preserves anonymity but creates an "identity."
Personally, I feel that I HAVE to believe in a God. Otherwise such people as the 9/11 hijackers who died in the course of their crime and who are now outside of our justice system would be completely free from any kind of punishment. However with the belief in a God I can believe that they would be punished for what they did even though they have died.ReplyDelete
I also hope that their belief that they would be rewarded with 50 virgins upon dying is either NOT granted, or maybe it is, by Male Homosexual Virgins that is.
You can't know that the hijackers are being punished. They may well be getting rewards now, because they did it for their religion. Your belief in a god makes you hate them and want to punish them. It also makes you fearful of homosexuals apparently.Delete
As an atheist I have this to say. If I am being asked to believe one collection of stories in a book as truth why not believe in all stories in all books?ReplyDelete
This has always been my question when it comes to blindly following without asking "why?". I have no problems with the teachings of christ, or if people want to believe in any other higher power. What really gets me is the institution of organized religion.
I think that religion, or a set of beliefs/dis-beliefs is very personal. Who are we to judge or tell somebody what or how to believe given that their relationship with those beliefs is unique to them?
People don't need to be herded to the chapel every Sunday to monotonously drone through litanies, confess their sins etc, and think that's their key to getting into heaven. If they want to believe there's something out there fine, but I think it should be on their own terms, in their own time, and not another persons.
As for DaBris' comment about Male Homosexual Virgins... It's ignorance like that that make people like me want to spit endless vitriol in their direction.
I'll close with this:
Why, if you're all loved the same in gods eyes, do any of you have the right to judge another for their differences?
That thought process never seems to come into play when believers decide to harp on a group based on creed, colour, sexual orientation, etc..
Common. DaBris' comment was a joke I presume. However, the scenerio leaves the possibility of a male gay terrorist still having a damn good time.Delete
Six women to thirty-five men. Any significance to that? Or is it just that male celebrities tend to get asked more often whether they believe in God?ReplyDelete
FWIW, I'm not sure the definitions of atheist and agnostic are engraved in stone (as it were). My understanding has always been that atheists are active disbelievers in God--they believe God does not exist--whereas agnostics acknowledge that they don't (and in many cases that they cannot) know one way or the other. Hence the two categories are mutually exclusive in that set of definitions.
I agree with your understanding of the two words. As for the ratio of men to women, maybe it's because men receive more attention when they speak? Or as men created the Sky God concept and ousted the Earth Mother Goddess belief, men tend to look to other men for "credible" beliefs?Delete
Theism is a positive belief in existence of deities. Atheism is simply lack of that belief. Sometimes atheism is defined more narrowly as an active disbelief. Agnostics are atheists (if they weren't atheists, they would be theists!) who are open to the idea that there may be deities, or more generally assert that it may be unknowable.Delete
I don't particularly care what Angelina Jolie or Gene Wilder believe in, but I am glad that they and others profess their rational disbelief in public. Religious belief is bizarrely protected and prized in nearly every society. When you think about it, werewolves, bigfoot and minotaurs are FAR more likely to be real - and yet if a politician professed to believing in them they'd be labelled insane. But Jesus turning water into wine and ascending into heaven is ok? And we shouldn't eat prawns or pork? Hard to understand really.
Atheism, as theism, is a reference to belief, whereas agnosticism is a reference to knowledge. A person can be an atheist, an agnostic atheist, an agnostic theist, or a theist. A person can say they are an agnostic, but that term leaves no indication as to what belief the agnostic holds. As for me, I am an agnostic atheist. I have no knowledge of the existence of any god/s, and I am not inclined to believe any exist.Delete
Etymologically, "atheism" is at root "without-God", whereas "agnosticism" is "without-knowledge". On this view, it seems natural to reserve the term "atheist" to people who positively assert there is no deity, whereas the agnostic would be the one who doesn't know, or who asserts it is not possible to know.ReplyDelete
The "soft" use of "atheist" to mean "someone who thinks there probably isn't a God (but who is not sure)" is increasingly popular, possibly because "agnostic" sounds weak in comparison. Where the arguments about the definitions arise, I suspect there are usually emotional (rather than strictly rational/linguistic) reasons underlying the arguments.
Personally, were I an atheist, I'd probably feel a little uncomfortable to consider Richard Dawkins to be one of my company... Christopher Hitchens, now there was a fellow, but no more rational than Dawkins, alas.
I reckon it's more useful to go with what's common and simple. All atheists lack a belief in a deity, that includes agnostic atheists and those who "believe" there is no god. All theists/religious folk believe in a deity, that includes agnostic theists (rare to find someone identifying as such in my experience) who believes but acknowledges the lack of proof or inability to prove.Delete
At the end of the day, atheists aren't defined by any famous individual... they're defined by lack of belief in a deity.
That has also been my understanding of theist, atheist and agnostic.ReplyDelete
Argh!!! This was in reply to Swift Loris.Delete
Is this graphic under copyright or can it be borrowed and copied freely (with attribution, of course)?ReplyDelete
I have no idea. It's not mine to give permission for commercial use. I found it via Reddit and Google-Image-searched it back to Apr 22 and 23 for the first usages, but those were tumblrs without further attribution.Delete