Saturday, March 8, 2008

Why do atheists care about religion?

So, while I was meandering around YouTube (rather than doing the grading I ought to be doing... I'll go back to it in a sec. Promise) I discovered this great video explaining why atheists care about religion (with Pantera playing in the background. Nice!) I thought I would share it. You can find it below the fold.

I often get asked why, as an atheist, I care about religion, or why I spend so much time talking about god. Well, I care about religion for much the same reasons the youtuber who made the video cares. Religion has a detrimental impact on my life and the lives of others. And I spend so much time talking about whether god exists or not because almost all religions (particularly the most harmful ones) are based around a deity. Do away with the deity, do away with the religion.

The number one reason that I spend so much time and effort talking about religion and god, though, is that religious belief and theism are based on the same thing - faith. Faith is a bad epistemic method. And continuing to accept it in our society is damaging in more ways than one. Not only does it breed religious belief, but it also leads people to accept spurious claims - to rely on woo, waste time searching for ghosts, and to reject the opponents of faith. Opponents that have brought us so much good (and, yes, in the wrong hands, some bad - but way more good). I talk about religion and god because I support reason and evidence. Because I support science, and because I see the foundation of religion and theism -faith - as antithetical to these pursuits.

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