One of my friends shared an article with me.
He wanted me to think he was interesting so he told me he was an atheist before he told me his name. This provokes debate and he gets to be cool and counter cultural. He then gets to regurgitate every atheist book he has ever read and come off as an intellectual. He is an atheist because all the great wars were fought on the basis of religion he says, and continue, for the next five or so minutes, to quote from God is not great.
Truth is, I have met some real atheists, but he is not one of them.
When did you decide there was no god, I ask, feigning innocence.
I always knew it; I just did not feel that I was allowed to feel that way, he responds, making a face that is meant to pass for deep intellectualism. I would find this profound. Actually, I did when I first read that sentiment in a Richard Dawkins book, The God Delusion. As it is, I find myself wondering how many people find him profound when he passes off other people’s thoughts as his own.
See, he has been doing this for the last half hour. He presents other people’s thought as though they were his own. He has quoted C.S Lewis and Bertrand Russell. He also quotes Goethe, Nietzsche and Kant rather liberally. However, I can tell he has never read any of these writers. He like so many others, has read books in which these philosophers are quoted. I decide not to tell him I was a philosophy major in campus. I can see he also does not know who these philosophers were or else, he would know Lewis, in his later years, was a fervent believer.
The thing is not that he does not believe in God. It is that he is an atheist. Once you get that he becomes even less fascinating. Fifty minutes into the date, I am officially bored. He has come rather late to this phase. At 29, he should have moved on to a more interesting phase. I understand he has recently discovered this new world in which god does not exist, but am disappointed. He will never grow beyond this phase to either a true believer or a true atheist. He will remain stuck in this phase because he is fixated on the philosophy of it through absorbing without thinking it through.
I know what he is doing. This is just another person flirting with atheism because it is the new cool. I want to tell him I have gone through this phase and it holds no fascination for me, but I also want to observe him. I wonder if I was ever this fatuous.
Am disappointed by this lady, very disappointed. For all her philosophy major, she can’t help avoid fallacies here. She treats us to the No True Scotsman, not once, but twice. I would want to meet her philosophy lecturer.
I am curious as to how they met. I know of no one who would start on a date by saying am an atheist and my name is P. I have however been to functions where people introduce themselves as being brother or sister so and so and am saved. But that aside, how did they arrive at this date. It seems to me to be a case of bad judgement on her part and maybe the dude really wasn’t interested. I could be wrong on this and I will be sending her my response in the hope that she will clarify the matter.
The other thing I find disturbing about her piece, and which I find to be prevalent among believers, is to see atheists or recent deconvertees as being a phase, one they will hopefully pass through. The implication here being that the believer’s position is the valid one. I am surprised why believers don’t ask themselves which among the many varying sects/ cults is the true one. It is possible every time they go down on their knees facing Mecca or an altar, they annoy Zeus!
Am greatly disappointed with her philosophy major degree. When she says
The thing is not that he does not believe in God. It is that he is an atheist
I really do not know what she means. I would do with a clarification and am sure many of the readers of this blog would too.
I see no problem with quoting whoever you want to quote. There is nothing wrong with walking on the shoulders of giants. Believers have been known to quote philosophers and scientists to support their views without ever bothering to go beyond those few quotations. Atheists, just like everyone else does this. So to use this as her reason to dismiss the unlucky fellow is I think uncalled for.
I am not the first person to say we are born atheists, I will repeat it without any shame.
I must say here also that am sorry for the lady. It is not a good thing to have your time wasted. And one hour is a long time to waste listening to things that don’t fascinate you. I don’t think I would stay that long. Am impatient, very impatient and I easily get bored. I just wonder why she stayed that long. Was she idle? Was she intrigued? I don’t know and hope to do so.