Posted August 27th, 2012 (2:50 am) || 1 Comment
A friend of mine recently quoted a passage from David G. McAfee‘s new book, Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist: The Guide to Coming out as a Non-Believer. The passage reads, “…Religion is a learned behavior, unlike non-belief; all people are born not believing in a God or gods, and only come to believe in such entities once they’ve been taught the idea by others – so atheism is the ‘default’ position.”
While I don’t believe in God, at least not as the majority of western religion portrays such a being, I don’t believe disbelief, a.k.a. atheism, is the default. In fact, I firmly believe the “default” if there is any, is one of curiosity. I also believe that atheism itself a religion (at least along the line is explicit atheism).
I decided to state my opinion in response to my friend’s quote.
I’ll freely admit I was baiting him. I’ve had experience with atheists and I wanted to know if my friend would respond with an open minded debate the subject, or simply reply with a closed minded restatement of the original quote or otherwise take an “I’m just right” stance. Almost invariably atheists reply with the later, sticking to their beliefs with a faith as strong a any right-wing Christian. Seeing as this was my friend, I was hoping for the former.
I got the later. In general that atheism is not a religion, that children are unable to believe in the supernatural unless taught to by others, and that atheism is backed by science which is based in 100% provable facts. (I paraphrase here.)
As it turns out, I can’t stand arguments based on false statements. I’m also a very bad person. Or at best a mean friend. Atheists have a bible. Yes, a bible. Not a “let’s call it a bible because bibles are important” bible, but an actual “this is our scripture but we’re not calling it scripture because we’re atheists” bible. Atheism is a solid belief system, and thus a religion. It may not be a religion that believes in the supernatural, but not all do. I’ve also done research into studies which demonstrate children have an inherent belief of the supernatural. But it’s the comment about science that really bothered me. Almost all of modern science, at least in the realm of explaining the fundamentals of how the universe works, is theoretical. So, we don’t know. Not knowing is less that 100% provable.
I decided to state my opinion in response to my friend’s reply.
I received an insult in reply and was told I am no longer friends with my friend.
As much a I’d like to console myself that all I’ve lost is a radical religious fanatic (or if one prefers, a closed-minded fanatic rather than religious), it seems I have precious few friends still in town and I’m finding the loss of another over something so trivial a bit stressful.