June 18, 2008

Tagged Again: Atheist 13 Meme

Stardust Musings has tagged me even though she knows I detest being tagged. I actually didn't mind this one because I've been a blog slump for a while, and this one was kind of fun to do. 10 questions, and at least 10 answers.

Q1. How would you define “atheism”?

An atheist is someone who answers the question "do you believe in God?" with a no. Atheism is the acknowledgment that there is no evidence for God or any other supernatural being, therefore there is no reason to consider God as nothing more than an invention of man.

Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?

I grew up as a very secular Jew. I had a Bar Mitzvah which included a crash course in Hebrew. I was brought up assuming the God, the Exodus, and the Flood were undeniably true, but these things were never discussed at home unless the movie The Ten Commandments was on TV or during our English version of Passover.

Q3. How would you describe “Intelligent Design”, using only one word?


Q4. What scientific endeavour really excites you?

My favourite part of science right now is discoveries of how "weird" animals became weird through evolution.

Q5. If you could change one thing about the “atheist community”, what would it be and why?

First, I admit the atheist community exists, but it is pretty much an internet phenomenon. The Atheist blogroll coupled with the Youtube atheist community have brought many atheists together.
I guess I'd like to see atheists who don't want to ruffle feathers become more vocal about their lack of beliefs.

Q6. If your child came up to you and said “I’m joining the clergy”, what would be your first response?

I'd be shocked that I have a kid. Sure, I had quite a few serious one night stands, especially in the mid to late 80's. And condoms did break, and were sometimes forgotten. But I figure I would have heard by now if I was a daddy.

Q7. What’s your favorite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?

Since I haven't met a theistic argument that I couldn't slaughter, I guess my favourite type of argument is one that I can overcome in a couple of sentences while hopefully making the theist "think."
It might be the "you can't prove God doesn't exist" argument. I simply say, "I can't disprove God just like I can't disprove that a Leprechaun lives in the the center of the sun and controls all the weather in the universe. But you are the one who states there is a God, so it is up to you to provide evidence."

Q8. What’s your most “controversial” (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?

My support for Israel. I seem to have to overcome the religious aspect of Israel's formation and existence, but it is easy for me, because I see Israel as a last resort to escape anti-semitism which has been an all too real phenomenon for 2000 years.
Also, many atheists are far Left to the point that they think that victim is the one who has less opportunities....they assume the Palestinians are the victims, much like many far Lefties believe that a crack addict who robs a bank is 90% a victim of society. I tend to believe that individuals should be held responsible for their own actions, and that includes being responsible for support of suicide bombings.

Q9. Of the “Four Horsemen” (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?

I find Dawkins to be the most enjoyable and entertaining of the four.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?

Obama. Since he is going to be the most powerful man in the world (I'd rather see McCain as President btw), I don't want religious fantasy to get in his way.

Now name three other atheist blogs that you’d like to see take up the Atheist Thirteen gauntlet:

The Jewish Atheist, Gripes Of Wrath, and The Atheist Blogger.


  1. Regarding Q8 & Q10
    -- I get a lot of hostility because I do not support Obama. I think Obama is like all the rest and talks pretty but does little. He did squat while he was a Senator, he was basically nobody before media made him into this savior of the people. He changes stances with the wind so we don't really know where he stands on issues, or when he will abandon those stances in favor of the opposite.

    Far lefties hate my posts questioning the "almighty" Obama, but he is just another politician in my skeptical eyes. He says he is pro-Israel, but he has been a supporter of Palestine in the past. While he says he wants peace talks, I think he would love to get in a war with Iran, Pakistan, etc. He is keeping it low-key right now, but his flip flopping combined with his fundamentalists god beliefs (and they are indeed fundamental and will show themselves later)...he lets Jeebus tell him everything to do and THAT scares me), and so I do not see a bit of difference or "change".

  2. Oh, and I meant to add in reference to Q5, I do not think there is an atheist "community" like the religions have. We seek each other out on the internet and talk about how goofy god beliefs are, but atheists bloggers "connecting" is just a coming together to share our similar viewpoints or to "vent" and get ideas from one another how to handle fundie family, friends and annoying religious freaks. But atheists are not like the religious community where they regularly come together to pray for each other, the world, their hangnails, etc while praising and worshiping a supernatural imaginary friend, rituals, songs and anthems, and all the thousands of labels they give themselves (Presbyterian, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu...etc.)

    Someone once said that trying to round up a bunch of atheists is like "herding cats".

    (But there are still atheists who can't let go of the social aspects of church and even form atheist "churches" and for the life of me I can't understand WHY? That is making atheism a religion like fundies try to say it is all the time.)

  3. Thanks for the tag. They were interesting questions and I spent some time answering: