Ask an Atheist Day (SSA)
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17-04-2012, 07:25 PM (This post was last modified: 18-04-2012 12:07 AM by Glaucus.)
Ask an Atheist Day (SSA)
Thursday, our local chapter of the Secular Student Alliance will have a table set up on campus where people are welcome to come and ask about atheism. As it's our first public event on campus, and the school's first atheist club, we're expecting some (polite) resistance from the believers, but also some genuine interest from nones.

Thursday will be a big day for me because it'll be the first time that I'll publicly defended my atheism (What a relief it was to finally talk with other atheists, face-to-face). I know what it means to me and how I'd respond to many of the questions regarding my atheism, but I was wondering what your thoughts were. What key points would you (or do you) touch on when someone asks you about your atheism? Or for people who aren't atheists, or aren't yet comfortable in their atheism, what questions would you ask that haven't really been clarified to you yet?

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
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17-04-2012, 07:39 PM
RE: Ask an Atheist Day (SSA)
Take video and post the good stuff on this forum.
Good luck and thanks for stepping up.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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17-04-2012, 08:54 PM
RE: Ask an Atheist Day (SSA)
(17-04-2012 07:39 PM)Thomas Wrote:  Take video and post the good stuff on this forum.
Good luck and thanks for stepping up.
Agreed, all of my support goes to you! Videos would be great. Big Grin
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17-04-2012, 09:28 PM
RE: Ask an Atheist Day (SSA)
Quite an amazing idea.....That'll never happen here in the deep south....that would be a shot below the (bible) belt lol

publius2k4

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan
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18-04-2012, 03:33 AM
On the other hand, ...
there is literally nothing to defend.

An atheist is not the one making any claims that need defending.
The assertions are being made by those who claim a god exists. Ask them to defend their position.

Avoid asserting that there is no god - you don't know that and can't prove that.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-04-2012, 07:31 AM
RE: Ask an Atheist Day (SSA)
Oh you are likely to encounter more than polite resistance. Just don't get suckered into engaging them in a negative way.
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18-04-2012, 08:02 AM (This post was last modified: 18-04-2012 08:05 AM by SaviourSelf.)
RE: Ask an Atheist Day (SSA)
Here's a little suggestion for what I fear will be the inevitable. If a creationist approaches you and begins talk of complexity (and if you don't happen to have a ready defense), I believe the best way to begin refuting the argument would be to state evolution in a very lay and simple-to-understand definition - that evolution is a process upon which simple systems build on simple systems to eventually create complex systems. Moreover, point out that this argument from complexity relies heavily on three "facts:"

1.) That there are gaps in the fossil records. While there are some gaps, they are extraordinarily few and we would expect there to be far more considering how rare it is for something to be fossilized.
2.) That a deity must have been responsible for this complexity. If a deity must be responsible, then what prevents it from having been many deities? What's more, why would it be a Judeo-Christian deity and not, say, Odin? Don't be tricked by creationists either. Some of them have gotten desperate enough to say, "Well, what if it were aliens and not god?" Even if they argue about it being aliens, the creationist idea is still completely wrong and suffers the exact same problems. Don't be fooled, even if it is odd they would denounce their god for a few minutes just to "prove" it by calling god an alien.
3.) That complexity cannot and never will be explained. This makes the argument from complexity a pretty clear argument from ignorance fallacy.

I also expect someone to warn you that you're going to burn in hell and that your soul will be prayed for. Just be polite and tell them not to expect much. If you ever want to get into the debate arena, I strongly suggest reading a lot of Richard Dawkins.
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18-04-2012, 08:22 AM
RE: On the other hand, ...
(18-04-2012 03:33 AM)Chas Wrote:  there is literally nothing to defend.

An atheist is not the one making any claims that need defending.
The assertions are being made by those who claim a god exists. Ask them to defend their position.

Avoid asserting that there is no god - you don't know that and can't prove that.
Don't atheists still have a position to defend?

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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18-04-2012, 10:12 AM
RE: Ask an Atheist Day (SSA)
(17-04-2012 09:28 PM)publius2k4 Wrote:  Quite an amazing idea.....That'll never happen here in the deep south....that would be a shot below the (bible) belt lol
You make it sound like atheists are hunted for sport and mounted on the walls...

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18-04-2012, 10:13 AM
RE: On the other hand, ...
(18-04-2012 08:22 AM)germanyt Wrote:  
(18-04-2012 03:33 AM)Chas Wrote:  there is literally nothing to defend.

An atheist is not the one making any claims that need defending.
The assertions are being made by those who claim a god exists. Ask them to defend their position.

Avoid asserting that there is no god - you don't know that and can't prove that.

Don't atheists still have a position to defend?


I don't think so, we are not the ones modelling our lives after 2000 year old fairy tales and talking to imaginary friends.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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