Friday, September 21, 2007

What's with the "A"

Didja notice the shiny new letter A at the top of the sidebar? If you click on it, you can read about Richard Dawkins' "Out Campaign." A brief hint-it has nothing to do with Hester Prynne.

I didn't jump on the bandwagon at first because I thought it was a little silly. Really, a scarlet letter?! But then, I got thinking about how silence is often construed as agreement. I know I have some crutches that inhibit my rational thinking, but belief in the supernatural isn't one of them.

So, out and proud.*

*And now you're imagining an Atheist Pride parade. Admit it, you are. Woud it be colorful and full of drag queens? Dunno. But if you hunt for the scarlet A around the interwebs and around your town, you're likely to meet the most interesting and wonderful people. Even if you think the earth is flat and God planted dinosaur fossils to fake us out because everyone knows people and dinosaurs lived in the garden of eden and the moon is made of green cheese and jellybeans are really rabbit poops that have been blessed by Saggitarian fairies. And Mitt Romney has magic underpants.


Peter said...

Uniting atheists is like herding cats, I think. Dawkins makes a good point that it's in our best interest to unite in some way. The problem(?) is that we're all pretty independently minded. For example, I don't like the t-shirt design with the "A". Maybe a nice polo shirt with a small monogrammed "A" in the corner.

As a side note, I was surprised to find out that so many of my coworkers (at a research institute!) are on the fundamentalist end of the spectrum. One of my other coworkers agrees that it's like we've stepped into bizarro world. He visibly relaxed when he found out that the american in the office wasn't amongst the faithful.

Atheist pride! Where do you fall on the Dawkins atheist scale? I'm a #6. I think it's extremely unlikely that there is a god--i.e. slightly less likely than Santa, The Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Ferry.

What differentiates me from a religionist is that I know exactly what kind of evidence it would take to convince me of the existence of god.

Is there any evidence that would convince you of the existence of god? Would a burning bush do it for you? How about visions? Big booming voice from the heavens that your neighbors agree to hear? A dude in a white robe and sandals who whisks you through the cosmos? The sensation of death and then burning?

I emphatically have to say that none of the above could convince me. Extreme claims require extreme proof. I can think of some amazingly fantastic, but ultimately non-supernatural explanations for any of those scenarios.

I think Carl Sagan (himself a gentle genius and atheist) presented the best hypothetical evidence for the existence of god in the *book* Contact. The movie unfortunately missed the most awe-inspiring part of the book entirely. In fact, Sagan's proposed evidence is the *only* form of evidence I've ever heard of that would be hard to explain away.

Of course, such evidence would be extremely hard to find, and is extremely unlikely to exist. Still, I would think that religious types--if they honestly believed in their heart of hearts--would be dedicating their lives to finding that sort of evidence. I'll be waiting.

cacophonyx said...

I quite like the A.

That said, though, I'm a Christian, but I might just use it next to the symbol of a cross. That'll ruffle some feathers heehee.