Monday, October 15, 2007

The Out Campaign

Right now, I have two distinct audience groups: people I know, and frequenters of the skeptical blogosphere. I intended it to be that way, but here's where I pay the price. I am introducing a new category: atheism. I'm aware that by off-line standards, it's a fair bit more provocative than my previous writings, but in the skeptical blogosphere, it's completely standard fare. So bear with me.

I'm an atheist. I know, few were shocked.

This post is accompanied by the adding of the 'A' on the sidebar, which is the logo for the Out Campaign. Richard Dawkins introduces it here. I'm told the logo is an allusion to the Scarlet Letter, but I didn't read that, so the reference is lost on me. I believe that joining the campaign is important because it helps break down stereotypes.

Ok, well, I live in a part of the US where there is little stereotyping is going on. I think most of my friends already know I'm atheist, but I seriously can't tell because no one cares. Around here, the stereotype, if any, is that atheists care too much. For now, I'll only point out two things wrong with this. First, there are plenty of atheists that don't care too much, it's just that you can't tell them apart from anyone else (in science, we call this "selective bias"). Second, there's nothing wrong with caring.

Just as I had said with skepticism, it would not be essential, if you knew me in person, to know I'm an atheist. But opinions blogging is conducive to this sort of expression. Expect it to be a regular (but not exclusive) topic.


DeralterChemiker said...

When you say you are an atheist, you are probably thinking of the conventional concept of God. But are you really an atheist, if you consider unconventional concepts? Think about the force that initiated the Big Bang and formed the universe. What was that force, and can we call that God? If so, I don't know what that God was like, and no one else does. He is certainly not the anthropological, grandfatherly type who looks over your shoulder to protect you or punish you. But if I acknowledge the existence of that unknown force, am I still an atheist?

miller said...

Under the standard definitions, I would refer to that as Deism. Most atheists reject Deism to varying degrees.

Hey, thanks for the ideas. I will probably address these in greater detail in future posts.