AV at Five Public Opinions has nominated me for Nullifidian’s Atheist Thirteen meme, and I thought I’d managed to elude this one? If you want to play too, just copy the questions below, and nominate three bloggers who you would like to participate.
Q1. How would you define “atheism”?
Atheism is a lack of belief in a god, gods or the supernatural.
Similar to FPO but with the added lack of any evidence in the supernatural.
Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?
I was raised C of E in England (though don’t remember that) and then Baptist in Australia. My folks were quite active in a particular Baptist church, our family was even interviewed on TV for the opening of the new church. I actually got quite involved in religion for a while in my mid-teens – even got baptised.
Q3. How would you describe “Intelligent Design”, using only one word?
Q4. What scientific endeavour really excites you?
I think nanotechnology is pretty cool, but I’ve always been fascinated with space. So any scientific endeavour that gets us further towards putting people on other planets gets my attention.
Q5. If you could change one thing about the “atheist community”, what would it be and why?
Getting them to join.
Religion’s biggest trick is getting lots of people to join. Here in Australia there is a political party which, whilst not strictly atheist based, is secular. They can’t even get 500 people to join so they can be classed as an official political party!
To seriously make an impact on society atheists need to be identified within some sort of group(s). Which sort of goes against the whole atheist thing as they only thing we really have in common is a lack of belief in god(s).
Q6. If your child came up to you and said “I’m joining the clergy”, what would be your first response?
I’d be like, child? What Child?
Hypothetically speaking, I’d be astonished.
Q7. What’s your favourite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?
It would have to be the one about morals. “God is the absolute moral authority.”
I ask them, if God didn’t exist would they suddenly rape, steal, lie, and murder? (if they answer yes, I quickly back away) Then I tell them to read my FAQ 1
Q8. What’s your most “controversial” (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?
I guess my most controversial viewpoint is that religious schools should not exist. However I usually temper this argument and say that they can exist but they shouldn’t get any money off Government. I also think religion should not be tax exempt.
Not so much a view point, but one of the other controversial things I sometimes do is go for the lower end of the hierarchy of disagreement.
Q9. Of the “Four Horsemen” (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?
Dawkins. Apart from being quite an amazing scientist I like his calm manner in interviews. It was his video “the root of all evil?” and book “The God Delusion” that really opened my eyes, and part of the reasons I know blog.
Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?
Like someone else who’s done this meme (forget who I’ve seen so many the last several days): The Pope. He is so influential to so many people, imagine if he turned around and said it was all bunk, there is no god, no one needs to be a Catholic.
Now name three other atheist blogs that you’d like to see take up the Atheist Thirteen gauntlet:
I don’t know if there are any of my usual suspects left who haven’t been tagged, so I’ll tag: