Babies Are Born Atheists

May 17, 2010 - 2 Responses

I realise I commit the blogging suicide of abandoning posting completely in infrequent spurts and then returning to also infrequent spurts of posting but writing is a craft of pleasure for me and if at least one other person enjoys it, it will have been worth it.

So in the spirit of recapping the ethos of the Gospel of Reason, I’d like to take a couple of words to address an all too frequent complaint about atheism.

How can you believe in nothing?

I’ve heard more than once that I have a god-shaped hole in my heart. My physician begs to differ, he seemed to be quite happy with a routine check-up and I don’t seem to have any sort of abnormal cavities in my heart which I should otherwise need filling, presumably at the religious equivalent of a dentist.

Do atheists really believe in nothing? I find it hard to answer for all atheists and this is because it’s a position which shouldn’t really exist at all. Atheism is the default metaphysical position. When someone says “The Universe was created by turtles” or “Yahweh made everything in 6 days” or other such nonsense, the default position is one of scepticism, and rightly so. Although, as human animals, evolution has ingrained in us a predisposition to obey authority at an early age (in order to breeze past the learning process which would otherwise take far too long to be practical for survival), a sign of intellectual maturity is the ability to process outlandish claims and decide on merit whether they are worth believing in. Some people’s standards for evidence are clearly lower than others’, and some people only have the semblance of a standard for evidence to stand in front of an intellectual absolutism that wouldn’t budge if an asteroid hit it.


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