Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Group 5 - The Knights of Dei - Passage of Disbelief

It's been a long time since I've formally addressed my fellow Knights, and for that, I apologize.

First and foremost, I'd like to ask if throughout the readings in Blackford's "50 Voices of Disbelief," a relatively common trend of religious beliefs utterly dissolving not through a solid analytic mode, but rather a gradual emotional slide into some religious apathy, which is then rationalized by some form of agnosticism and later some form of atheism.

While I share a similar outlook on the matter, having decided simply that I didn't believe in god because I didn't feel like it, and then backed it up with the mountain of comparatively superior arguments in favor of the atheist camp, I don't find the method that is so commonly followed one that is at all supportive of the spirit of atheism, and its fidelity to logic, philosophy, and scientific discovery.

The conclusion that I, and many of these voices of disbelief were espoused to have reached are ones that were reached without following any steps before reaching them. We decided that there was no god and then filled in the gaps after we were comfortable with shouting it in our parents' faces - and that, I find wholly dissatisfying.

Now, it's fantastic that we reached a conclusion with so many bits of supporting data that could be thrown in retroactively, but any friend of philosophy, and certainly one of atheism in the United States, must be well acquainted with the propulsion of one's own rational arguments and discovery. The method of jumping to a conclusion before you've actually pieced the puzzle together -- especially because you "just stopped believing somewhere in your teens and didn't know why," is as repugnant as saying "god exists because it says so in the Bible and the Bible is self authenticating."

How do you feel about these testimonies, and their effect on the foray into the question of whether or not there really is a god?


  1. After reading this more closely, I don't think I agree with it at all. The only steps that are needed to start the journey to disbelief are those of doubt and inquiry.

    Children that are taught from their mother's knee that God, Jesus, Hell, and Heaven are real do not have the opportunity to subject these teachings to scrutiny until they posses the faculties to do so. Once they do, they can evaluate the evidence for and against religion's validity. None of the authors stopped at the rebellion stage, but went on to investigate and reconcile their conclusion with the evidence. None of them say "So-and-so says that there is no God, so I don't believe that God exists."

    In short, you can arrive at a conclusion without appearing to have "done the work." What has likely happened, though, is that you just aren't consciously aware of all the steps that you have taken to arrive at that conclusion. Backing up your conclusion with logic, philosophy, and scientific discovery takes a little more work.

  2. Personally, I think that the conversation is interesting, but the truth is probably that there are as many reasons and first-steps as there are atheists. It's probably different in every individual case.