Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Gail Dobson

Atheism is Not a Dirty Word

  • Regarding 'No Religion' blog post - the word 'atheist' itself is misleading and should not even be necessary in our vernacular. We don't have a word for someone who doesn't believe in fairies, dragons, Santa, Easter Bunny, or Bigfoot. 


    Until fairly recently here in the U.S. a common saying for an unexpected or surprise occurrence was a 'Black Swan event', until someone in Australia said black swans are quite common there. Misinformation doesn't become fact simply because it's repeated many times, believed by many people, or the doubters are shouted down.  


    Atheist description in 'No Religion' post is mis-stated - they do not reject god, only say that there is no proof for god (or other supernaturals).  We're all born atheists, until we are indoctrinated by our family, friends, and so on; the fortunate few who were born into an atheist home or who managed to overcome the dogma forced upon them may become atheists themselves. There is nothing you have to believe to be an atheist. Not believing in any god is the only qualification required. Beyond that, an atheist can believe in anything at all. Maybe also realize that most believers are atheists as to any 'god' but their own - only theirs is the right one. Nor is atheism a religion. Now, many call themselves free-thinkers, humanists, skeptics, secularists, agnostics, non-believers, and more. There have been and still are far more atheists than you know; just a few are here, and include Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect -- “I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.”, Xenophanes, Greek philosopher -- If other animals wanted to create gods -- “If oxen, lions, and horses had hands and could make fashion of art, they would fashion gods in their own image.” I've posted Epicurus' famous quote prior to this.


    Morality - We did not require any "book" to give us morals. Homo-sapiens managed for at least 100,000 years without writing at all (blending with other homo-cousins as we covered more and more ground), then managed about 3500 BCE to develop early Sumerian cuneiform writings, followed shortly thereafter (3200 BCE) by ancient Egyptian writings. Those included inscriptions of the Old Kingdom of Egypt (2613-2181 BCE), didactic [lesson teaching] literature from 2040-1782 BCE, and the Love Poems of the New Kingdom (1570-1069 BCE).  


    How is it that we had no "morals"? Why did we need "god's rules" written (about 1100 BCE) during the bronze age (or maybe iron age, cuz of inability to conquer those guys who had iron chariots?) in a desert tribal language, into stories that advocated wiping out other tribes, owning/selling other people (including your own daughters) to give us "morals"? See here for a tongue-in-cheek look at some "biblical morality".



    I think I prefer the religion of Abraham (Lincoln, that is) "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad."  Millions and millions of people are good without "god" (as s/he/it is generally described).