Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"
- Name: beepbeepitsme
- Location: Australia
I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.
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"DIFFICILE EST SATURAM NON SCRIBERE"
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In a nutshell, atheists believe in reason alone, in those things that can be arrived at through intellect and the scientific method. Concrete evidence for God, they argue, simply doesn't exist. They don't cotton to leaps of faith or anything that involves a supernatural being reaching into human lives. They believe you can live a happy, respectable life based on human ethics that were derived not from God handing down a tablet but from a code of rules that emerged naturally through an evolutionary process in which humans learned how to live together successfully. Atheists as a group do not believe anything as a matter of course. The only thing, by definition, that they have in common, is a lack of belief in god/gods. An atheist can assert an individual position about politics, culture, economics etc, but cannot accurately state that atheists all share the same concept. Therefore there are capitalist atheists, socialist atheists, fiscally conservative atheists, leftwing atheists and rightwing atheists etc etc. I am spelling all this out because for some reason, theists have a very inaccurate view of what an atheist is. There is no doctrine, dogma or tenets of belief associated with being an atheist. There is only the definition of what an atheist is and there are enough atheists who will argue which dictionary definition to use and which one is accurate.
Having said this, many atheists but not all, are secular humanists. Secular humanism does describe a world view, and secular humanists do believe in certain elements and principles. For example, I am atheist. My position as an atheist is that I have a lack of belief in god/gods/goddesses etc. Or, simply put, if a theist has a belief in god (normally a specific god or definition), ~~ I don't. A theist is someone WITH god belief, and an atheist is someone WITHOUT god belief. I am also an atheist who is a secular humanist, and it is as a secular humanist that I am specifically defined.
- Need to test beliefs - A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.
- Reason, evidence, scientific method - Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific
methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.
- Fulfillment, growth, creativity - A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual
and humankind in general.
- Search for truth - A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience
constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.
- This life - A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of
ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
- Ethics - A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.
- Building a better world - A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.
So, it is more precise to say ~
"SECULAR HUMANISTS believe in those things that can be arrived at through intellect and the scientific method. They don't cotton to leaps of faith or anything that involves a supernatural being reaching into human lives. They believe you can live a happy, respectable life based on human ethics that were derived not from God handing down a tablet but from a code of rules that emerged naturally through an evolutionary process in which humans learned how to live together successfully."