Atheist Challenge Day 3 - Are you a more outspoken or more apathetic atheist? Why?
Anyone who reads this blog knows I can’t keep my mouth shut, especially in the face of injustice and religious debates. I am very outspoken against religion for three reasons: Religion, for as good as it makes some people feel, is ultimately poisonous in the grand scheme of things, it diminishes the importance of ones finite time and the extent to which they enjoy it, and there’s simply no evidence that god(s) exist.
The pervasive and ever-encroaching nature of Christianity and Islam has elevated the importance of religious debate, specifically in the realm of public policy. The reason we outspoken (read: ‘militant’) atheists push our ‘secular agenda’ is that our Christian and Muslim brothers in the world are not content to live and let live. In spite of the fact that religion played a major role in every major humanitarian crisis and war of the past 5000 years, the religious folks in this country, with their votes and lobbies, continue to push an agenda that would marry religion and law to the greatest extent our Constitution will allow, regardless of the empirical evidence of the destructive nature of theocracies. (Quick examples, Native American genocide, Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, McCarthyism, the Holocaust, etc.) As scary and ‘militant’ as we atheists are unfairly portrayed by Christians and Muslims, the worst we ever really do is make fun of blindly accepted religious dogma (and the people who believe it) and write books. Most of us are content to let people think what they want, as long as they aren’t trying to enshrine it in public law.
One of the common philosophies that religious folks like to use (even though it is flawed) is Pascal’s Wager. Pascal held that even though the existence of God cannot be proven, one loses nothing by living as if God does exist, and potentially has everything to gain by gambling that God does indeed exist.
With respect to Blaise Pascal, I respectfully disagree.