I like science as much as the next Atheist, but I'm no expert and don't have the background to expound on the details of scientifically based Atheism. And frankly, the more science that comes up, the more questions arise for me. Such as:
How can the universe be infinite if there is an origin starting with the big bang? A "start" automatically discounts the concept of infinity because infinity neither starts nor ends.
Let's say the Big Bang did start the universe. What was the universe contained in? Nothingness? The fact that the Big Bang occupies a defined geography means that the universe can not be infinite because it has different geography with borders.
I guess I'm just frustrated because I would like a to be an atheist without being an astro or theoretical physicist or philosopher.
When someone asks me about the origin of the universe, I'd love to say, "Beats me."
Where do we go when we die? "Beats me. Maybe into nothingness. Maybe not"
Call me Pollyanna, but the only thing I understand as an Atheist is that I am in the present. Everything else is a question mark and gets clouded by deep scientific analysis. That being said, I do believe in evolution, but that's not related to the deeper questions about the universe and existence.
Do we all need to be scientists?
Ok. Sorry. Your point is well-taken. I could have been much more diplomatic. But honestly, I get so frustrated about it.
My own brother told me I am going to burn in hell for simply living my life and trying to do good whenever I can. I'm going to be tortured in hell and burned in screaming agony simply because I'm not able to believe in magic fairy man who wants us to be his sycophants or he will torture us.
But that same being has no problem with someone leading a sadistic life on Earth and letting them go in heaven because they agree to accept the lord as their savior. That's why I can't hold back from more colorful descriptions of what a crock it all is.
Sorry, but being told I'm going to burn in hell forever (I'm a loving father and husband) makes the christian hatred and vitriol a million times more intense then my choice of using "retarded."
@ Kirk LeFou, I was recently told by a Catholic friend who had only just heard that I had been an atheist all the time he has known me and was annoyed that I never had the good manners to let him that I was. He has now become worried for my “eternal soul” (whatever that is) and has told others that I will burn in hell forever. I said that is a very long time, even more than 953, 000,000,000,000 years. That confused him at first but then he said “No, it would be even longer than that”.
It does not even matter that I have not committed any of the sins he listed, which was quite a long list indeed. The problem is not believing in some guy called Jesus. I asked for more details but the story seemed incredible. I asked him to write down on a single sheet of paper his “Top 5” beliefs about Jesus and why he believes each of them to be true without saying “because the Bible says so”. This is proving a difficult task for him but I always insist that theists do this exercise for me if they are really bothered about my soul. The results generally prove to be interesting. Try it out and see what happens.
I love it when they say "You atheists want to take all the mystery out of the universe (life, whatever)." I point out that they are they ones who aren't satisfied with mystery and feel a need to posit a firm explanation where science is satisfied with only speculation (e.g., about the big bang which, while it seems an almost inescapable description of how the universe began, completely fails as an explanation because it leaves so many questions open, like what came before).
I usually refer them to Hitchens when they get to the "Mystery" section of their spiel...
I understand, and am not criticizing. I'm still working at how to encourage multiple approaches to countering arrogant theism, while not encouraging arrogant atheism. It's not easy! We're still a dissed and oppressed minority.
And we are also going to be tortured in hell forever and ever.
What they are doing to you is wrong on so many levels. You should not be treated that whay...their actions towards you are horrible and there is zero justification for insulting someone because they don't participate in their game. Imagine if you dont buy the democracy-ideology and choose not to vote...would people insulting you and harassing you for not voting ever be reasonable? Would grouping you with other non-voters and defining you by your non-participation ever be something a decent human being would do?
Fuck these people. Dont let them do this to you...and if you cannot avoid it then do your best to not let it effect you. Never forget that their nastiness is never a reflection on you...but on their arrogant pugnacious selves. Dont let them define you by your non-participation and dont let them ever make you feel worthless because you refuse not just to play on their team...but play their game at all.