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TimXCampbell replied 11 years ago (Nov 27th 2012, 6:11:45 pm)
It is with slight reluctance that I support the Atheism camp. The camp statement is fairly open-ended: Quote: Atheism is the position that deities do not exist. Atheists may hold a spectrum of views from a general disbelief in any supernatural phenomenon to a specific disbelief in a personal god. I have two quibbles. They're minor, but they matter to me. Here they are: — (1) I have "a specific disbelief in a personal god," but I find it a bit problematic to utter the blanket statement "deities do not exist." Some traditions (such as Sufi, Kabbalah, Hinduism) have ultimate definitions of God that are, roughly speaking, "Whatever it was that produced the Big Bang" or "the ground of being" — in other words, a conception vastly different from what most people mean by "God." Yet these mystics still call it God (example: look up Ein Sof or Brahman on Wikipedia). Some of them even call it Nothing (i.e. no-thing), or attributeless — hardly a personal god! — (2) While I don't believe in personal gods, I do accept that gods can have a memetic quasi-reality. This means much more than "People share the same belief." For more about this, please see my video "Jesus Bits: Christianity for Atheists" on YouTube. This argues that gods can be as real as you or I THINK we are. That is to say, the "self" we take ourselves to be is grounded in a correlation of memes and personal memories. Those memes become an integral part of what we take ourselves to be. A big part of that might include a convenient fiction called God. While the details are fictional, a large group of people can create a memetic meta-entity that is just as valid as our belief in our "self." — I apologize if my explanations are not crystal clear because I'm really digging deep to highlight an objection I have with "atheism" in the form that it often takes on the internet. I don't believe in conventional gods (and haven't done so since the 1980). However, I do not want to join those people who define themselves by what they DON'T believe. There are people out there who spend hours per day preaching the gospel of atheism. These people have not only made atheism their quasi-religion (!) but they've also given it a bad name! The Atheism camp has my support for now. I suspect it might have more support if it (or a sub-camp?) was clearly disassociated from the kind of fire-breathing atheism that can make us non-believers look bad.