Apparently It’s “Ask An Atheist” Day.

Ask away, if you want to know something, like whether we eat puppies or scald children with hot coffee etc.


About agnophilo

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46 Responses to Apparently It’s “Ask An Atheist” Day.

  1. MangoWOW says:

    How big is your penis?

  2. agnophilo says:

    @MangoWOW – Well it’s the internet, so I’m gonna go with “ginormous”.  Though I don’t think that’s the point of ask-an-atheist day.

  3. maniacsicko says:

    what’s with the profile picture?wait, does the question have to be related with atheist in any way?hmmm…do you put value in marriage?  (considering, i’m guessing, it is traditionally, or originally (?) a religion thingy)how would an atheist react if one of the kids want to be a christian, another want to be a muslim, and another want to join the KKK…  which kid will disappoint you the most?is it possible for an atheist to fall in love with a staunch staunch christian/(insert whatever else religion here)yeah, that’ll do for the time being

  4. MangoWOW says:

    @agnophilo – pics or it didn’t happen.

  5. CoderHead says:

    If you could take one transitional form home with you, which would it be?

  6. I like this form of entries, but I hate the day– it seems gimicky and self-important.

  7. @Celestial_Teapot – I think the idea is to clear up misconceptions and stereotypes about atheists.@agnophilo –  Describe your transition from Christian to atheist.

  8. agnophilo says:

    @maniacsicko – “what’s with the profile picture?”It’s a non-human fossil of the species homo heidelbergensis and dates back around 125,000 years or so.”wait, does the question have to be related with atheist in any way?hmmm…”Don’t care really.”do you put value in marriage?  (considering, i’m guessing, it is traditionally, or originally (?) a religion thingy)”I put value in a committed relationship, inside or outside of traditional marriage.  I think someone having your back and you having theirs is a profound part of being human and can be very beautiful, and I don’t think you need a marriage certificate or a church ceremony for it to be meaningful.  But ultimately any marriage only means what the two (or more) people put into it.  And of course marriage has intrinsic value in our society since it grants tax benefits and over a thousand legal rights (visitation, child support rights, insurance benefits, the right to decide where or if your partner is buried and countless other things).”how would an atheist react if one of the kids want to be a christian, another want to be a muslim, and another want to join the KKK…  which kid will disappoint you the most?”The KKK one definitely.  As far as the other two, I would only insist they learn about all world views.  Though I would hope that I would have taught them critical thinking and to stand on their own two feet to the point that they would not be easily sucked into a religion.  If they believed in one anyway, I would disagree with them but would not hate them or treat them poorly.  I don’t hate or treat poorly christians or muslims as it is.  Though of course being christian or muslim does not prevent one from being an asshole, and I’m not fond of assholes.I’d rather my kid be christian, muslim etc than an asshole.”is it possible for an atheist to fall in love with a staunch staunch christian/(insert whatever else religion here)”Of course.  Though for any skeptic (atheist or not) the other person would have to be at least reasonable or they would not get along.”yeah, that’ll do for the time being”That’s fine, good questions.  Thanks : )@MangoWOW – Pics or I’m secure in my manhood. : P@CoderHead – Har har.Or wait, do you actually mean own one freaky fossil?@Celestial_Teapot – The point is to get people talking and thinking about their views about atheists, blacks, whatever group.  It seems tacky, but I do think it works.  At least a little.

  9. agnophilo says:

    @TheThinkingPerson – I was not a born-again, I was raised christian.  I did believe though, I have prayed in earnest in my life.  But it was always a sort of agnostic’s “if anyone’s listening” sort of prayer.  I was never hardcore.  But I was sure there was a god and a heaven and all that.  I took me years to realize I had never concluded any of these things were true, they were sort of built into my brain’s operating system from youth.  As I questioned these assumptions I recall the feeling like a fog lifting from my mind, though some of that was no doubt also due to the changes in brain development from adolescence to adulthood, as this took place around the age of 14-17 or so.  I found out I was an atheist when I came across the term atheism for the first time and looked it up, I realized it applied to me.  What first made me question was the concept of hell.  I thought that god was supposed to be basically the best person imaginable, kinder, wiser, greater in every way than us.  One day it occurred to me that if I were god I wouldn’t send anyone to hell, not even hitler.  Why torture someone when I could just blink them out of existence?  Surely oblivion would be kinder, more forgiving, less cruel etc than torture, let alone infinite torture.  It dawned on me that I was more forgiving and less vengeful than I had been told god was.  It wasn’t too long after that that I lost faith in religion, but not god.  I was still convinced (though for no reason other than my upbringing I realize now) that there was a god, and that for some reason it had to be the christian god.  But I figured we humans had just screwed up the bible somehow, gotten the message wrong.  It was later that I realized there was no reason to assume a creator at all, and I called myself an atheist.

  10. I’ve heard(read) you say that almost all atheist are agnostic.  By looking at your username I assume it means (agno)stic (philo)sopher, correct?  I always assume that an agnostic is the in between person of the belief spectrum of theist to atheist which in my belief means:God/god/creator/supreme being?theist:  Yep  +  :)agnostic:  I don’t know.  ?  =/atheist:  Nope  –  ;)Despite all of the gods of religions and their beliefs, doctrines and teachings out there which you seem to reject (most I guess…well I know Christianity for sure and I can see good reasons why) ultimately at the end of the day where do you stand? Do you say…”I don’t know”?

  11. Crono09 says:

    What is your attitude towards religious people? Do you think that religion can be beneficial, or does it do more harm than good?

  12. musterion99 says:

    Do you ever have doubts that you might be wrong about God not existing?Does it bother you that you won’t exist anymore after you die?

  13. @agnophilo – Very interesting story. I was raised Christian, too, and it was learning about the world that led me to question the Bible (Genesis in particular).Thanks for sharing!

  14. The_ATM says:

    Do puppies taste good? What is your favorite kind of coffee (to throw on children)?

  15. Got any good recipes for babies?

  16. agnophilo says:

    @bluepillorredpill – Yes that is what it stands for.  Agnosticism is a position not on the existence of god, but whether we can know (as opposed to believe) there is a god.  I acknowledge that you cannot disprove the existence of a deity (any more than you can prove unicorns do not exist).  I still though do not believe in them.  We do not believe something exists until it is disproven, or we would believe in the existence of everything.To give a reverse example, I believe in the existence of life on other planets, but I am agnostic with regards to it since I acknowledge it cannot be proven – I just think it’s very likely to exist.To quote Robert Ingersoll : “There is no difference. The Agnostic is an Atheist. The Atheist is an Agnostic. The Agnostic says: ‘I do not know, but I do not believe there is a God.’ The Atheist says the same.”@Crono09 – My attitude toward religious people depends on the religious person, they are not all clones – despite an enormous and centuries-long push for conformity.  I think the elements common to western religion are extremely harmful, dogma, superstition, suppressing critical thinking etc.  I think that faith can give people comfort and make them feel good on a personal level, but it always has drawbacks which cancel it out.  A christian has a ready-made sense of purpose and direction for instance, but on the other hand they might miss out on the benefits of being “lost” for awhile which forces you to really learn about the world.  They might feel happier when things are going well, perceiving the good things that come their way as not just being fortunate, but a gift, “blessing” etc, but then when things are not going well they feel abandoned and forsaken and all of that, which an atheist doesn’t have to go through etc.  Overall if there is a positive net effect I just don’t see it.  Or at least it’s heavily counter-balanced by bad effects.  But maybe it could be better – or maybe it’s just the yin-yang nature of things.@musterion99 – The first question is odd since I became an atheist by questioning the existence of god, which I had previously accepted without skepticism, lol.  If you mean do I feel anxiety about the possibility that there may be a god in a “what if you’re wrong” sense, I don’t.  Remember I’m not claiming there is no god, I’m simply saying I’ve got no reason to think there is one that makes sense.  I am not averse to the idea that a god exists, and would want to know if one did.  As far as the second question, I’m not bothered by my own mortality.  I don’t want to die tomorrow or anything, but non-existence would literally be a non-experience, so it doesn’t frighten me.  And it’s also nothing new, I have not existed for a lot longer than I’ve existed – it didn’t hurt or anything.  Death is a part of life.  If death is simply ceasing to be what we once were, then I have died many times throughout my life – my five year old self is long gone.  So is my ten year old self, 15 year old self etc.  They’re not going to exist in heaven, right?  I’ve died many times, you cannot live or learn or change or grow without letting go of your former self, and that is death.  It is also life.  They’re the same process.  Physical death is just more sudden.  I do not wish my mind to be the same forever, or my body to live forever.  That would be hell.And I am not so narcissistic as to think life is meaningless if I die.  To quote the beatles “life flows on within you… and without you.”@TheThinkingPerson – You’re welcome.  And yeah, I was absolutely astonished to find out what is actually in the bible.  I was especially shocked to find out the teachers and clergy had actually been lying to me about many parts, or otherwise misinforming me.@The_ATM – Har har.  And hazelnut : P@BergerWasTaken – Also har har.

  17. SerenaDante says:

    Lol, this is fun 😀 I like the baby questions.

  18. According to wikipedia, Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable. Which do you believe, that God’s existence is unknown but knowable, or unknown and unknowable?

  19. agnophilo says:

    @SerenaDante – : P@TheBlueNinjaTiger – Already answered above – that was blueorredpill’s question.  The short version is unknown and unknowable, though many things people believe about god I think can be disproven, such as that “he” created the universe in one week a few thousand years ago.

  20. Do you consider yourself an atheist?

  21. Where are my cookies LOL

  22. agnophilo says:

    @TheBlueNinjaTiger – Yes.@Kristenmomof3 – Hey, I said WE have cookies, I didn’t say nuthin’ ’bout newbies gettin’ any : P

  23. @agnophilo – That’s fine. I like my pie better anyway and I aint sharing LOL

  24. musterion99 says:

    @agnophilo –  As far as the second question, I’m not bothered by my own mortality.  I don’t want to die tomorrow or anything, but non-existence would literally be a non-experience, so it doesn’t frighten me. That wasn’t really the crux of my question. It wasn’t about being afraid, it was about caring that you will no longer exist. You mention that you won’t know about it then, but right now you are aware of it. You’re aware that that you will never ever experience any more happiness or experiences of what’s happening in the world. Those are important, otherwise you would just kill yourself right now. So in that sense, does it bother you that you will never have any more experiences? Even though my 10 year old self no longer exists, I still have happy memories from it.

  25. musterion99 says:

    Also, you told about your Christian upbringing. Are your parents or siblings Christian?

  26. FalconBridge says:

    Do you belong to any Atheist groups?  Do you antagonize other atheists just for the sake of argument or do you help each other by sharing information? 

  27. Do you believe the statement “I believe there is no god” is equivalent to “I do not believe there is a god” ? If not, can you explain? I’m sorry, I’m struggling with this argument. There is something about this that either doesn’t quite work or is not adequately defined or explained, and I cannot pin it down.

  28. agnophilo says:

    @Kristenmomof3 – : P@musterion99 – I would like to go on existing for the time being, but not forever.  I am a participant in life, not it’s central architect.  I suppose the difference in attitude is whether one is concerned primarily with their own ego and it’s continual existence or has a sense of the grandeur outside of themselves.  If life was less meaningful because I was no longer here, by the same extension my life would mean nothing because the people who died in the civil war era are no longer here.  If I were tempted to feel sorry for myself for not living forever I would simply examine the alternative.  Living a billion years would be torture.  Imagine having done everything, seen everything, experienced everything over and over and over again, and having an infinity of it ahead of you.  Life is analogous to a story, it is more meaningful, not less meaningful, because it has a beginning, a middle and an end.  A life without ending would be like a movie without an ending.  Would you want to watch it?I should mention I’m philosophically influenced by philosophies like zen and taoism that de-accentuate both free will and the ego in terms of being important to meaning.  You may enjoy this.  Worth listening to a few times.@musterion99 – One parent is catholic, the other agnostic.  I assumed she was christian and found out she wasn’t when I was 20.  That’s how un-indoctrinated I was on that side.  Went to a catholic school growing up.

  29. agnophilo says:

    @FalconBridge – Don’t belong to any atheist groups.  I’ve also never read a book about atheism or religion written by an atheist.  As far as antagonizing atheists, I don’t get the question – I try not to antagonize people in general.  Did I say something on your blog to offend you or something?@TheBlueNinjaTiger – No, the statements are not equivalent.  Non-belief and disbelief are two different things.  I disbelieve in the gods of many particular religions and many of the claims of various religions, but I simply do not believe in (as opposed to disbelieving) generic deities which for all I know might be real, but like unicorns I have seen no good reason to suspect they do indeed exist.  Hope that helps.

  30. musterion99 says:

    @agnophilo –  Living a billion years would be torture.  Imagine having done everything, seen everything, experienced everything over and over and over again, and having an infinity of it ahead of you.You don’t know that because you’ve never done it. And maybe the life after this one would be completely different than here or anything that you could try to imagine and you would always be experiencing new and joyful things. I also don’t think we’d be aware of time like we are here.

  31. agnophilo says:

    @musterion99 – How would that be different than taking a drug and blissing out?  I don’t find that meaningful.  If you look forward to heaven I’m not trying to rain on your parade.

  32. There is a problem with the definition of Atheism. The definition includes people of two beliefs: those who believe there is no god, and those who don’t believe in a god. A person who believes there is no god is absolutely sure of their belief. A theist, who believes there is a god, is sure of that. A person who doesn’t believe in god, is saying that while they don’t have enough evidence to warrant them believing in God, they also do not have enough evidence to completely disprove God’s existence. They are undecided between believing there is God, and believing there is no God. This person needs to have a distinct term from Atheist. An agnostic, by definition, is someone who does not know whether God exists and/or believes one cannot know whether God exists.The “soft” atheist (the one the simply doesn’t believe) would then be by definition, automatically agnostic. I therefore see no point in incorporating that definition into atheism. Thus it should be like this: A person who believes there is God is a theist, a person who believes there is no God, is an atheist, and a person who does not believe, being distinct from a person who disbelieves, would simply be an agnostic, not an atheist.

  33. xplorrn says:

    do you believe in that michael j. fox has no elvis in him – that he’s the evil opposite – the anti-elvis?have one on me!!!

  34. musterion99 says:

    @agnophilo – How would that be different than taking a drug and blissing out?  I don’t find that meaningful.  If you look forward to heaven I’m not trying to rain on your parade.The point I was making is that you don’t know it would be boring like you said because you haven’t experienced it.

  35. agnophilo says:

    @TheBlueNinjaTiger – Knowing something and believing it are two different things.  I do not believe there are unicorns and I am of the opinion that they are made up beings.  I do not however know this to be true since it cannot be absolutely demonstrated.  This is not the same as not having an opinion or being truly neutral.  And the terms are agnostic and positive atheism, strong/weak and hard/soft have positive and negative connotations, and tend to be preferred by either critics of evolution who want to call atheists “weak” or people who fancy themselves “strong” atheists, of whom there are virtually none.  And no, atheism is not ill-defined, it has multiple definitions.  As in sense A, sense B etc in the dictionary.  Many words do.@xplorrn – Okay…@musterion99 – I’ve never watched paint dry either, but I can extrapolate.

  36. @agnophilo – and here you identify another way of looking at this. Knowing and believing, as you say, are not the same thing. Here, lets look at the view points of the definitions of the words atheism, agnosticism, and theism, without the words themselves.”I believe there is no God” “I do not believe there is God” “God’s existence is unknown by me” “God’s existence is unknowable by me” ” I believe God exists”Now, I understand how one can, by our current definitions of atheist, agnostic, and theist, be an agnostic atheist. However, I think that  we need a new term for that inbetween lack of firm belief. Currently, the term atheist includes disbelief, and non belief, while theist only includes belief. Why is non belief attached to disbelief in terminology? You are using the double term agnostic atheist to identify your lack of firm belief, but as you say, knowing and believing are different. I don’t think that agnostic atheist is the best label for that belief, because the term agnostic deals with knowledge, not belief. So, ideally, an agnostic atheist would be someone who firmly believes there is no god, but doesn’t know for sure, and an agnostic theist, would be someone who firmly believes there is god, but doesn’t know for sure, but the person who does not firmly believe either way needs their own term. In other words, Agnostic and Gnostic are completely different terms from Atheist and Theist. You do not believe in god. You do not believe there is no god. Thus, you cannot be an atheist. Instead, you call yourself, and agnostic atheist, but this term is already used to describe someone who believes there is no god, and believes that he can’t know for sure. We need a term for someone who doesn’t believe there is God, but doesn’t believe there is no God. Agnostic doesn’t work because it deals with knowledge, not belief.

  37. FalconBridge says:

    @agnophilo – No you didn’t offend me.  It’s just I’ve tried various times to join atheist groups and found it impossible.  They always attack me for knowledge I don’t have even though I’ve said I didn’t know something.  That’s all.  You didn’t do anything.  I enjoy reading your stuff.

  38. agnophilo says:

    @TheBlueNinjaTiger – If you want to avoid the connotations of atheism, just say non-believer or non-theist instead.@FalconBridge – I’m confused, are you atheist or theist or what?  Attack you for something you don’t know?  I’m confused.  Damn browser keeps jumping around, I keep clicking on the wrong link.  Eh, nevermind.

  39. @agnophilo – okay, I like that. Are you comfortable with someone calling you an agnostic nontheist?

  40. agnophilo says:

    @TheBlueNinjaTiger – Sure.  I am both.  It’s just a more general term.  I don’t mind being called a mammal either : P@estadquietos – Thanks : )  I’m thinking about posting the Q&A in another post.

  41. YouToMe says:

    I am all asked- out. Hehe But enjoyed reading your responses to those here. Highly entertaining questions/comments from the peanut gallery also 🙂

  42. I would like to exist forever. Oh well. I wish I could be there when humanity falls or rises to other planets.

  43. atheists groups suck. I think many atheists took it to heart when Richard Dawkins said that herding atheists was like herding cats. The problem is that atheists value ‘intelligence’ to such an extent that if an atheist expresses ignorance within the group, that atheist is marked as ‘stupid’, not worthy of respect. Perhaps it’s also that atheist value ‘reality’ and when someone mistakes a mistake we do not ‘beat around the bush’ in pointing out the mistake in logic or knowledge. not good though. positive networks are the ones that survive; not negative ones. 

  44. agnophilo says:

    @lalalandsucks4ever – I’d like to see the future, but not live forever.@lalalandsucks4ever – And how many atheist groups have you belonged to exactly?  In real life, not forums or something.

  45. Barnaby says:

    Although of course your own words should be realisticbest physical therapy schools | programming schools | las vegas school

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