Atheism and Naturalism

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The interest in Atheism has increased since the attack on two New York Skyscrappers known as 9/11.

The tide has seeming turn from atheisit merely defending themselves and their right "from" religion to attaking the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has done to society from the Crusades to 9/11. Foremost among the adherents are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hithens from the United States.

I count myself an atheist as I understand the term. But I also have, while beleiving myself an atheist, described myself a Christian and acted as a Sunday School Supervisor. Depending upon how the term is defined the ranks of Atheist would swell or all but disappear.

First with respect to the label, I beleive the full title of Gretta Vosper's book says it al: With or Without God, Why the Way We Live is More Important Than What We Beleive

I was baptized a Christian in a Baptist Church at the age of 13th. At the time I was a beleiver. As many others, my first year at University was the point at which I beleive quietly moved over the 50-50% line. As the Premier Elect of the Maritime Tuxis and Older Boy's Parliament in January, I wrote an article for a publication The Parliametarian, entitled Noster Semaj Meets God. The editor Bob Vine commented on the article it was confusing and I guest that would describe my state at the time- but I mark it as the point when I would now say that I was more Atheist than Beleiver.

A few years latter while attending Law School in Toronto, I read books such as John Robertson's Honest to God, and But that I can't beleive, and Nathaniel Micklem's A Religion for Agnostics, and started solidified my attitude if not my beleif's: For me, I wasn't going to mince words with serious minded friends, that much of my previous faith had been altered, further that while the topic was incredibly complex, clear language and clear thinking was superior to unclear thinking and ignorance. And I say that this position was personal and at the time was not mean't to be applied to others. For others such as my mother who was tortured by the issue I did not think that clear language or thinking was that important. My mother was a good person and while I though her definition of a Christian wouldn't cut mustard with any lexicologists I don't beleive it effected the way she acted.

In the decade following 9/11, I began to question my involvement in the Church. The issue was fed not by the events of September 11th but rather by the events in the local Church that I attended. One of the persons served by the Association for which I worked was "drummed out" of the Senior Choir. I had got her in by accident because when I asked the Chrior Director if she could use a new member she mistakenly thought that I was referring to myself. The Person concerned had enjoyed participating in a light operettta put on by Sunsday School program and thought that she would like to sing in senior choir. She didn't sing loud enough that she would distuirbed any one but despite this fact she disturbed the Chior Director and the chiarperson of the Chior and subsequently when I brough the new minister into the disvcussion the schipturer passage "Sing on to the Lord with a Joyful Noise" was not sufficient to defend her involvement". Gradually I lost interest in attending the Church and for all intense purposes I have drooped out.


Terminology is so difficult in this domain because different writers use the same terms in different ways. For example after reading karen Armstrong's The Case for God one might be excused for thinking the text might have been better titled The Case for Redefining the Term God.


See also Agnosticism

Dawkins, Richard (2006) The God Delusion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company
Grayling, A.C. Ideas that Matter, London: Phoenix
Hitchens, Christopher (2007) The Portable Theist, Philadelphia: Da Capo Press
Micklem, Nathaniel (1965) A Religion for Agnostics, London: Scm Press Ltd
Robertson, John A.T.(1963) Honerst to God, London: Scm Press Ltd
Robertson, John A.T.(1963) But that I can't beleive, Collins Fatana Books
Russell, Bertrand (1957) Why I am Not a Christian, Georg Allan and Unwin Ltd
Smith, George H. (1989) Atheism, The Case Against God, Amherst, NY: Prometheus
Vosper Gretta (2008) With or Without God, Why the Way We Live is More Important Than What We Beleive, Toronto: Harper CollinsPublishers Ltd


Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (http://richarddawkins.net/)