Thursday, June 21, 2018

I Don't Believe It

The first day of summer, so you know what that means.  It's Atheist Solidarity Day.

That's an interesting idea--atheists sticking together.  Atheism's hallmark is a lack of belief, so how do various people get together behind something they don't do?

On the other hand, atheists are threatened in many parts of the world, so I guess I can see some solidarity to support the right to believe (or not believe) what you want to believe (or not want to believe).

The ribbon to wear, by the way, is half scarlet, half black.  I get that, especially the scarlet letter A aspect.  Somehow, though, I doubt I'll be seeing too many ribbons out on the street today.

By the way, if you feel celebrating atheism is too negative, it's also National Peaches and Cream Day.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I'm a Catholic Christian myself, but in honor of my atheist friends, I share the following two excellent atheist rock hymns:

ELP, "The Only Way"

Rush, "Freewill"

12:28 AM, June 22, 2018  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always found "Freewill" a bizarre lyric. The song says "I will choose free will."

There may be a lot of things you can choose, but it seems to me the one thing you can't choose it free will.

12:35 AM, June 22, 2018  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quibbling -one can choose to surrender free will. Using one's fee will to get rid of it so to speak. As many would say of religions and other ideologies.

4:12 AM, June 22, 2018  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I interpret that to mean, not "I choose to possess free will" (which would seem a logical impossibility), but rather, "Among all the different philosophical and theological explanations of human nature, I choose to believe that humans have free will."

Of course, this still raises issues. Are our deep beliefs actually chosen? This is a central question in epistemology, on which many philosophers disagree. Clearly it's not entirely a matter of choice -- when I look at the window and see the sunlight streaming in, I don't choose to believe it's daytime; I am compelled to believe that and could not "decide" to believe it's nighttime (except, perhaps, by some kind of elaborate brainwashing). So nobody claims it's entirely choice. But is it entirely non-voluntary? When your wife says "I haven't cheated on you," or a scientist says "Carbon dioxide is causing global warming," or a preacher says "Moses was given commandments by God," and you believe or disbelieve them, is this belief/unbelief in some part a choice, or at least possessing an element of choice? I myself think that there are elements of choice in such things, but it's certainly not something you can switch on and off at will (the way you can choose to watch a DVD and then choose something else).

Also, Neil Peart seems to see free will as something opposed to religious faith, whereas in fact there are religions that teach that humans have free will and religions that teach the opposite. And, there are materialists who believe humans have free will, and materialists who believe otherwise.

2:58 PM, June 22, 2018  

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