Saturday, December 22, 2007

Atheism = Not Collecting Stamps

Link via India Uncut

http://www.economist.com/blogs/theinbox/2007/12/believe_it_or_not_december_11t_2.cfm

In a nutshell,

"Atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby".

Most boneheaded religious fanatics fail to get this simple point.

13 comments:

Ankita Ghosh said...

Whats are you? An atheist or a philatelist :P

skroderider said...

The latter - used to be. The former - I am :)

Ankita Ghosh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ankita Ghosh said...

Ah! Grudge against the Gods? No power that makes the world go round ;)

skroderider said...

There is a power that makes the world go round - the Laws of Physics :)

Ankita Ghosh said...

Oh! And how did physics come into being, prithee :)

Of course, I know you might say that physics was always there, but how did we become so intelligent or evolce into such scholars who could decipher the physics that is involved in making the world go round?

skroderider said...

Evolution?
The answer to the question of 'how did life begin in the first place' is - I don't know :). But I am not prepared to attribute it to an unproven entity till I find facts.

Ankita Ghosh said...

Each to his own.

Maybe its just the conscience (Whoa! con + science ;P)which is our conviction, our Gods. But, having faith in one constant being who is eternal somehow brings hope to despaired souls (which at some point of time or the other we all are, i guess).

Hope springs from faith.

But, more than everything, churches, temples, gurudwaras, and darghas have one thing in common. Each time one goes there, everyone stands on one single platform. We cease to be superior to some or inferior to the others. That's the only place where people go even if they are handicapped or not; happy or sad; despaired or in anticipation; rich or poor; ugly or beautiful; the President of a company or the clerk.

Yet, the most marvellous things in life are not seen; nor is a proof sought for these things.

What proof do you have that you dreamt the most wonderful dream last night?

What proof do you have to prove it to your parents that you actually love them?

Like I said, sometimes, the most beautiful things does not need an attribution to facts whose awe we might not be able to fathom.

Something to ponder upon, I guess :)

skroderider said...

>>Each to his own.
Absolutely.

>>Maybe its just the conscience (Whoa! con + science ;P)which is our conviction, our Gods. But, having faith in one constant being who is eternal somehow brings hope to >>despaired souls (which at some point of time or the other we all are, i guess).

I have to disagree. Faith can and does bring hope, and that is the only positive aspect (Even though it's a hope based on false assumptions - but I won't go into that). But people who have faith and extract hope from it also sometimes extrapolate that faith to various other ends, and there is nothing to stop them. There is no such thing as a
hope-only-faith, meaning somebody maintains faith only towards the end of of getting hope from it. Faith is inherently delusional.

>>Hope springs from faith.
It can also spring from faith in one's abilities.

>>But, more than everything, churches, temples, gurudwaras, and darghas have one thing in common. Each time one goes there, everyone stands on one single platform. We cease to >>be superior to some or inferior to the others. That's the only place where people go even if they are handicapped or not; happy or sad; despaired or in anticipation; rich or >>poor; ugly or beautiful; the President of a company or the clerk.

Your point being? :)

>>Yet, the most marvellous things in life are not seen; nor is a proof sought for these things.
>>What proof do you have that you dreamt the most wonderful dream last night?
>>What proof do you have to prove it to your parents that you actually love them?
>>Like I said, sometimes, the most beautiful things does not need an attribution to facts whose awe we might not be able to fathom.

I agree that there are aspects of the mind that we have no clue about yet - we cannot explain what we perceive of as beauty - nor why this differs from person to person. This
does not imply that there is no scientific basis behind it.

I feel awe for things like the Voyager spacecraft which has left the solar system and the fact that Darwin's theory explains evolution so beautifully.

>>Something to ponder upon, I guess :)
I pondered :).
Some food for thought for you - Why is religion exempt from the same kind of rigorous investigation into its claims that is the bedrock of modern scientific enquiry? Why do people balk at any attempt to question religious practices, especially when it controls so much of our lives? And especially when some of its practices are
positively prehistoric and barbarian? Is this justified because it gives a false sense of hope to some people who know no better?

Ankita Ghosh said...

I guess we are deviating from the topic here.

An atheist questions in the existence of God.

A hurt theist questions the barbaric practices that the so-called religions of the world impose upon us.

I believe in the existence of a Supreme being.

If there ever is any religion, then it must be the one of humanity that is embedded in all our kind actions.


In that particular paragragh (But, more than everything, churches, temples, gurudwaras, and darghas have one thing in common.), my point was….

We see people from different walks of life walk into a temple without a placard pompously advertising their status in the society. That makes me feel an unfathomable awe at the beauty and the glory that faith instills.

I completely understand your awe for the voyager. I, too, am marveled when I hear a mellifluous tune or listen to an erudite. We all are. In fact, people walk in flocks to listen to a great music concert, or for the reading sessions that happen in the bookstores around the globe. But, not all; not from every strata of the society can even go there, even if that place utmost inspiration. There is just one place where they can… Guess where 

Like the King cannot explain the beauty of a palace to a dweller of the huts who has not seen a palace, ever in his life; you and I may fail to make one another understand our point of view over the issue because we see the matter from diametrically different angles.

Over the question that you have raised about religion, and all things bad, well, those questions have been haunting me since ages. I had tried to write down my understanding of God, and also why there is so much of evil in this world.
http://disquietitude.blogspot.com/2009/07/genesis.html

Till its found, it’s only a discovery; and the journey has always been more pleasant than the destination, hasn’t it?

skroderider said...

Thanks for clarifying your point.

>>But, not all; not from every strata of the society can even go there, even if that place utmost inspiration. There is just one place where they can. Guess where

Are you saying that it's a substitute for listening to inspiring music or an superb reading session? I guess not :)

I read your blog post. However, my point was not about the Good and Bad sides of religion - rather, it was about the refusal of religious people to tolerate any
kind of inquiry into their beliefs and practices. And the knee jerk reaction that is elicited whenever such inquiry is made.

skroderider said...

Btw,
>>Grudge against the Gods
would make a nice book title.:D

Ankita Ghosh said...

hehehe.... be careful.... I might just sue you for plagiarizing...lol!