Monday, June 16, 2008

Atheist 13 Meme

I've been tagged by Tommy at Exercise in Futility to answer the following thirteen questions. I am one of those weird people who actually like memes. So, here goes!

Q1. How would you define “atheism”?

Atheism is simply a lack of belief in the existence of any god, gods, goddesses or any supernatural entities based on lack of evidence.

Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?

I was raised as a Lutheran, but we weren't a strict religious family. We stayed home more from church more than we went. We did a brief stint the Baptist church after my grandmother passed away and my Mom didn't find the comfort she needed from the Lutheran church. My brother and sister got to liking the youth group and all the wild escapades we participated in with the teenagers of that group. We would act "holy" in front of our parents, then go racing around in cars between the church and whoever's parents house we were having the youth meeting that night. Then dutifully give our testimonies and say some prayers and read a few bits from the Bible and then it was party time. Baptist kids are pretty wild. Then it was back to the gloomy German Lutheran church where the service is much like a funeral service. I never became a member...was the only member of my family not to. I didn't go hardly at all after graduating from high school. I was done with it then, though went back to it after I had my own children, thinking I was doing the right thing. My husband, I and kids all left the church and our superstitious beliefs behind in the mid 90s and aren't at all regretful about it. Just sorry we didn't "see the light" sooner.

Q3. How would you describe “Intelligent Design”, using only one word?


Q4. What scientific endeavour really excites you?

I would have to agree with Tommy here and say space exploration. It would be great if they found some kind of life forms on another planet in my lifetime, but doubt they will in that short amount of time. I wish I could live at least another 500 years just to see how far humans go into the cosmos.

Q5. If you could change one thing about the “atheist community”, what would it be and why?

There isn't really an "atheist community" since we are all pretty much individuals, no doctrines, no governing body, no organized "churches". As for atheist, I wish that those who are atheists would not be so afraid to speak up and let it be known that they are atheist. There are more of us than statistics show, I am sure. Many atheists are still hiding in churches.

Q6. If your child came up to you and said “I’m joining the clergy”, what would be your first response?

I would be a bit shocked because our three grown children are pretty adament atheist (one might be more leaning agnostic). But then it is their life and if they feel that is what they need to do, then it's their life. I will love them anyway.

Q7. What’s your favorite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?

I don't have any favorite theistic argument. They are all getting to be pretty redundant from "everything is so complex, something had to designed it all", or "where do you get your morals from?" Trying to explain we get our morals from the society in which we live, and those morals are instilled in us via our parents or caretakers. It doesn't mean that a child will follow everything he or she is taught, but for most children, if the parents are moral people, then kids are also. As for everything being complex and must have had a creator, I just say that those who say this just want an immediate answer for things they do not know, so just fill in those gaps with "goddidit."

Q8. What’s your most “controversial” (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?

At the moment, it is that I do not trust Obama as far as I can throw him. I think he is a Democratic fundamentalist Xian who talks to his imaginary friend every night and that is what everyone was on Bush about. But suddenly because it's a Democrat it's ok and they make excuses for him. I think that everyone is going to be disappointed, and this is going to hurt the Democratic Party even more. I get a bunch of crap on other sites for this viewpoint.

Q9. Of the “Four Horsemen” (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?

I think Sam Harris. He is soft spoken, intelligent, has common sense, holds the same opinion of Islam fundamentalists as he does Xian fundamentalists and makes no excuses for them.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?

My sister. Religion has come between us since she has become a Baptist. She wouldn't have to abandon her beliefs, but just that irritating and self-righteous denomination that drives wedges between family members.

Now name three other atheist blogs that you’d like to see take up the Atheist Thirteen gauntlet:

Poodles, Atheist Jew, and Cyberkitten


Cikgu Screwtape said...

Hi there,

Thanks for your entries on this blog. We have been having troubles with Christian fundamentalists lately (especially those from Singapore) who oppose us because we refuse to take a hard anti-gay stance or to attack people who do not hold to a narrow Sola-Scriptura fundamentalism. One in particular even threatened to have my son raped/sodomized on his birthday. The rest have been anathemizing us.

Our blog is Jeremiah Blues ( They have also been bragging about their higher authority because of their supposed learning (getting degrees and doctorates, learning Greek, etc.)

Do your part and add your voice to ours. We welcome all comments.


~ Edmund

Poodles said...

Fiery already beat you. :-). Good answers though.

Stardust said...

OOps Poodles, I should have scrolled down farther on your blog and I would have seen that! We are in the middle of remodeling mess here and have been quickly checking my blog and email so not much time to read lately. I am going to write about that soon on my Stardust Journal blog real soon. It's been an "adventure" for sure.

CyberKitten said...


I'll see what I can do with that.

Thanks for the tag.

BEAJ said...

Done. I disagree with you about the atheist community not existing though.

CyberKitten said...

BEAJ said: I disagree with you about the atheist community not existing though.

i don't think it exists 'over here' - at least I've never been invited to any of their meetings... But then again I've never been eager to join any organisation that would have me as a member [grin].

Stardust said...

There are atheist organizations we can seek out if we so choose, but nothing organized like religion. I read on some blogs about people starting atheist "churches" and can't figure out for the life of me WHY? I think it's because some people just can't totally give up the social aspect of church and group crap. Coming together as a group of like minded people is fine, but a regularly scheduled "service"...BLAH! No thanks!

As for the internet, atheists bloggers "connecting" is not much different than those who like knitting, astronomy, and whatever. But not like the religions community to pray for each other, praising a supernatural imaginary friend, nothing to worship, etc. That is what I am talking about.

Someone once said that trying to round up a bunch of atheists is like "herding cats".

BEAJ said...

As Stardust knows by now, I meant the cyber atheist community. Even in my region there are atheist meetings (which I've never attended).
Of course, I'm not talking a religious community, but a community none the less.
There is quite the fight between Muslim Youtubers and atheist Youtubers which has been ongoing for a couple of years.
I still don't know why Cyberkitten hasn't joined the Atheist Blogroll yet? And don't give the Groucho Marx line.

Stardust said...

beaj, I do understand what you mean. In the cyberworld, we are a "group" or community in that we join together in our endeavor to uphold separation of church and state and to prevent theocracy from controlling or overtaking our governments and personal freedoms.

Yeah, Cyberkitten...why haven't you joined atheist blogroll yet? Just joining adds to the numbers to show just how many of us there are out there. I am amazed at how much the blogroll is increasing.

CyberKitten said...

beaj said: I still don't know why Cyberkitten hasn't joined the Atheist Blogroll yet? And don't give the Groucho Marx line.

stardust said: Yeah, Cyberkitten...why haven't you joined atheist blogroll yet? Just joining adds to the numbers to show just how many of us there are out there.

Firstly as I said I'm not a joiner - never have been. I don't join unions or organisations. It's just not part of my character.

Secondly, although I am indeed an atheist - and a rather militant one when pushed - it's only a part of who I am. I don't (by and large) *primarily* identify myself as such.

Lastly, I don't feel the need to add my voice to the chorus. I have no need to 'come out' as a atheist as I have never hidden that fact. People who only know me casually know my views on the subject so I don't feel the need to advertise it further. If people visit my Blog often enough they'll find fun being poked at religion or pointed questions directed at it. I do not feel that anything else is required.

BEAJ said...

Cyber Kitten, with a name like Cyber Kitten, if you were on the atheist blogroll you'll likely have a lot more visitors than you do now. You want to be read don't you? as many people as least I do.
Sometimes you have to sell out in order to have exposure. But I hardly think you would be selling out if you joined the Atheist blogroll.
There are no rules...just be an atheist and post at least a few times a month.
By not being a follower and sticking to that, you are sort of being of follower of your own rules:)

Stardust said...

Atheist blogroll is just a list. Put your blog on there and that's it. People can click on your link or not.

Andrea said...

I can relate to how ck feels. It seems kinda weird to be added to a list just for this one incidental aspect of my for being fluent in more than one language or something. That probably doesn't make sense. It seems like you have to blog about religious stuff all the time to be on that list, although I'm sure that's not the vibe they mean to project.

Btw, I loved your answers to this meme, Star.

Stardust said...

Since I have been on atheist blogroll, my traffic has increased a lot.

Tommy said...

It seems like you have to blog about religious stuff all the time to be on that list, although I'm sure that's not the vibe they mean to project.

Not really Andrea. As you know, not all my posts are atheist topics, and I'm on the Atheist Blogroll and Planet Atheism.

Also, I think the latter is more helpful for traffic, because people can actually see your posts on Planet Atheism, whereas the Atheist Blogroll has so many blogs on it now, it is hard to stand out.