March 17, 2011

Matt Stone, C'Mon Man

Matt Stone, one the creators of South Park was recently interviewed about their new Broadway play "The Book of Mormon." I'm sure the play will be hilarious. South Park is most of the time.

But Stone and his idea about atheists really bug me.

Here is what he said in a recent interview when asked about his religion:

"I'm an atheist. I don't think about it that much, I seem to live my life as an atheist, but it's not that I don't like religion. In fact I kind of admire it and I'm really pretty into it. But whenever I'm having a hard time I don't look for God, I just don't. So I guess I'm an atheist but I have tons of doubt about atheists.

But this question is really what our musical is about—we are fascinated by the idea that happiness and faith could be higher values than truth. What if the truthfulness of religious stories doesn't matter, but faith in them does? That's something that troubles atheists. I can't prove that those goofy Mormon stories have a positive effect, but the idea at least seems like a good thing to sing and dance about.

You guess you are an atheist? An atheist is someone who simply says no to the question of whether they believe in God. That is it. If you don't believe in God, if you don't accept deities, then you are an atheist. You don't guess you are an atheist. Either you are or your aren't.

Tons of doubts about atheists? WTF does that mean? Are you saying that atheists don't get it. Most of the atheists I am in contact with, do get it. Atheism is more or less a logical conclusion based on evidence that every phenomenon has a natural explanation, and the fact there is absolutely no evidence to support the supernatural. Most atheists also know that humans are born with an innate susceptibility to accept the supernatural. This of course, doesn't mean supernatural explanations are correct, only that sometimes rationality has a problem winning.

What if faith in stories does matter? I don't see how this fact troubles atheists. Of course, faith in these fairy tales matter. That is why many believers hate homosexuals or fly planes into buildings. That is what troubles atheists. It should trouble believers too.

I don't know if atheists are troubled by faith possibly having positive effects in keeping some people from raping or stealing if it really does. The thing that is troubling is certain believers state that it does. How many atheists are in jail in proportion to other prisoners? Stats I've seen suggest that atheists have a smaller share in the prison population that they do out of prison population.

And if scientific studies suggest that faith gives one a better chance in fighting cancer or heart disease, I don't think there is an atheist who would say that is a bad thing. Though I think most wouldn't trade their overcoming the brainwashing that God exists, to have that faith.