What’s Atheism Good for? Ctd.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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4 Responses to What’s Atheism Good for? Ctd.

  1. entonces27 says:

    Atheism is nothing. A (means without) (a prefix) theism (belief in theos or god). Therefore, it is without belief in god. Any atheist can’t define what god is, or they just ignore this word “god”, therefore they are outside any theist’s beliefs.

  2. santitafarella says:

    Entonces27:

    I can’t agree with you. Atheism entails far more than a simple rejection of belief in gods. Once you have taken mind off the table as an explanation for the existence of matter, then you have to (logically) be committed to a wholly blind, non-teleological, and materialist explanation of all phenomena—including the human mind, the laws of physics, and the information in the first cell. To declare for atheism is a momentous decision far in excess of the empirical—and so very much akin to a religious commitment. It’s not just a negative indifference to a non-evidence based claim. Atheism is a way of being in the world that encompasses the whole of the individual.

    —Santi

  3. Samuel Skinner says:

    “Once you have taken mind off the table as an explanation for the existence of matter, then you have to (logically) be committed to a wholly blind, non-teleological, and materialist explanation of all phenomena—including the human mind, the laws of physics, and the information in the first cell. ”

    Unless you are an animist, a taoist, a buddhist, etc.

    This isn’t a rebutal as much as pointing out that not beliving in god doesn’t always dovetail with rational thought.

    “To declare for atheism is a momentous decision far in excess of the empirical—and so very much akin to a religious commitment. ”

    Except religion doesn’t explain any of those things. It claims God is responsible… but that God is unknowable, pushing the answer back another step.

  4. santitafarella says:

    Samuel:

    You’re point is well taken. I noticed in UFO Magazine this past month a curious article on an atheist who had an abduction experience AND was visited by his guardian angel! I shit you not. He remains an atheist, but believes in the paranormal.

    Hmm.

    I admit that there are a lot of people who don’t exactly link up their beliefs with a coherent metaphysics and epistemology.

    As for the theist pronouncing a bald fact—“God did it”—I admit that this also invites question begging. But I would also point out that the atheist leap—“Matter did it”—also begs questions and really doesn’t answer to our dumbfoundedness at the bald fact of matter’s existence or why matter would have the properties that it does.

    The ontological mystery is not so easily dispatched by either theist or atheist.

    —Santi

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