Friday, July 11, 2008

Atheist meme

So Michael Meadon over at Ionian Enchantment tagged me, and apparently I have to answer some questions. Fair enough.

1) How would you define "atheism"?
Not believing in God. Not believing that there's anything supernatural doing any of the jobs standardly assigned to God - making life, designing life, being the moral boss of the universe.

2) Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?
Erratically. Some half-arsed Christianity, but nothing systematic at home. Briefly captivated by Christianity (as opposed to going through the motions) in late primary school.

3) How would you describe "Intelligent Design", using only one word?

4) What scientific endeavor really excites you?
Cognitive neuroscience.

5) If you could change one thing about the "atheist community", what would
it be and why?
We need an armed wing. OK, more seriously, I think more vigorous and public intellectuals like Dawkins and Dennett.

6) If your child came up to you and said "I'm joining the clergy", what
would be your first response?
I'd try to reason him out of it. (I've just got the one so far, and it's a boy.)

7) What's your favorite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?
They're all bad, and I don't have refutations of my own. The one I face most is the argument from design, variously retreaded, and I respond with natural selection.

8) What's your most "controversial" (as far as general attitudes amongst
other atheists goes) viewpoint?
I'm pretty militant, but I'm not aware of any specifically controversial atheist view. Maybe the view (doesn't seem controversial to me) that it should be illegal to require religious observance from minors, including requiring it in the home.

9) Of the "Four Horsemen" (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is
your favourite, and why?
Dawkins followed by Dennett. I don't have Michaele's memo-phobia.

10) If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs,
who would it be?
The incumbent Pope.

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