Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Atheist 13 Meme

My turn:
Q1. How would you define "atheism"?
A range of opinions from lack of belief in a god, all the way to firm conviction that there is no god. That's me on the end there.

Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?
Proud to be a third-generation atheist.

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

Q4. What scientific endeavour really excites you?
Artificial intelligence for its long-term goals. Particle physics for its emerging results.

Q5. If you could change one thing about the "atheist community", what would it be and why?
More dangerous. Armed, perhaps - to reduce the chances of a repeat of the sort of attack visited on Pharyngula and the like.

Q6. If your child came up to you and said "I'm joining the clergy", what would be your first response?
Perform a retroactive abortion.

Q7. What's your favourite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?
A 'favourite inaccuracy'? I don't think I have one.

And it appears to be impossible to refute even the simplest errors in a way that convinces them. After all these years of refutation, the average theist still believes that atheism implies complete amorality.

Q8. What's your most "controversial" (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?
Most atheists ultimately see some place for religion even in an atheist world. I think the stuff is too dangerous to exist, even in moderation. One slip and they'd be burning heretics again. I say wipe it out completely, using education and taxes.

Q9. Of the "Four Horsemen" (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?
I've been Dawkins' No.1 fan for many decades. I'm a very deep admirer of Chris Hitchens, though. His grasp of language is so precise it enables him to see nuances in concepts that other sometimes conflate.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?
With the entire span of time to choose from: Emperor Constantine and his dizzy mum. Or Abraham, perhaps.

Contemporaries only, it could be any senior politician, anywhere.


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