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In Defense of Atheism

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Chris OConnor

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In Defense of Atheism

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New zealotry or last bastion of reason?JOHN BURNSIDE IN DEFENCE OF ATHEISM Michel Onfray Serpent's Tail,
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Chris OConnor

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In Defense of Atheism

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An intelligent reply to the above article:TheMathGuy, United States / 1:48am 4 Jun 2007 While you make a good point, I feel I should point out that you tend to brush atheists in rather broad strokes. Most atheists I know would never claim that they know with any certainty that God does not exist, but rather that in the absence of evidence we must assume he does not. We would not assume the flying spaghetti monster exists without evidence, even though at a philosophical level you can't disprove it.I have read Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion", and I recognize the emotion in it. To feel emotion is to be human, and when arguing about something we feel passionate about it's only natural. It is often only because of a passionate, charismatic zealot that society moves forward.Having been born into a community of fundamentalist Christians, I am well aware of the kind of torture such beliefs can inflict on the mind. I cannot see even extreme atheism in anywhere near the same light as religious extremism. My indoctrination made even questioning the faith a source of great guilt and trepidation.And while the great majority of religious moderates out there are not particularly dangerous, it is this attitude that it's OK to believe anything you wish, however unsupported by the evidence, that serves to enable the fundamentalists. As for me, I WOULD argue with a Seventh Day Adventist or a Mormon, because I see a bit of my former self in them, and argument was not futile in my case. I would not argue for atheism per se (I'm not even sure I'm atheist myself--just somewhere in between agnosticism and atheism), but merely for critical re-examination of whatever it was they happened to believe.We may not be living in the Middle Ages any more, but religion still does have a considerable influence on people and politics, especially here in the US. Would suicide bombers really still commit their acts if their religion didn't glorify it and teach that they would be rewarded for it after death?
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