Thursday, January 08, 2009

There's Probably No God


This was in the New York Times today (I read it in the International Herald Tribune, with a different photograph). I like the idea that a comedian came up with the idea for the campaign, after seeing something like this:

My take on athletes who thank Jesus is here; my own militant Darwinist convictions are here. Full disclosure: I'm an atheist who had his kids baptized!

6 comments:

Donald Brown said...

I read this article too, but didn't see the pictures. Now that I do, the atheist (or agnostic) one seems more obnoxious. The Jesus one is a quotation that states an ostensible fact: Jesus supposedly did say that, whether or not it's true. The atheist one points up the reason I never describe myself as an atheist: to say there is or isn't or "probably isn't" a God is really a meaningless statement. If I agree with it, it means there is no correlative to the word "God" that I recognize as actually existing, if I disagree with it, it's because I believe something correlates to that term. BUT, even if I don't believe in the existence of "God" I do believe that the concept of God does exist for the people who believe in it. So to say that there is "no such thing" as someone's concept of God is arrogant and pointless. And the facile statement, "stop worrying and enjoy your life" is even worse as it suggests that simply being told of God's existence or lack of existence alters how one lives.

I don't even want to try to wrap my head around why someone who professes to be an atheist (I don't) would baptize his child (I didn't). In other words, while I find it insupportable to deny any possibility of God, I find it easy to reject the rituals and theology and dicta of the Catholic church.

Andrew Shields said...

Baptized Protestant children, actually, not Catholic, but that doesn't eliminate the paradox! Let's just say, I would not have had them baptized on my own initiative, and as someone who was baptized twice (Catholic then Protestant), I did not protest when my wife wanted to baptize the kids.

carolyn said...

I liked the atheist bus ads in DC last year: Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake.
http://www.americanhumanist.org/press/AdReaction.php

I have no problem denying the existence of god, but I do find traditions and rituals interesting. That's why I was happy to watch Bella's Russian Orthodox baptism.

Donald Brown said...

ok, thanks for the clarification. "Not protesting" is the same way I attend funeral masses and I even stood godfather once at a baptism. The way I read your original statement, it seemed that maybe you wanted your kids to "belong" to a religion even if you didn't believe in it, which I found a little odd.

Jamey Hecht said...

Nice post. You might enjoy this one:
http://poetrypoliticscollapse.blogspot.com/2009/01/am-i-atheist.html

Andrew Shields said...

I don't remember how I got to it, Jamey, but that post was the first one I saw on your blog. :-)