Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Atheism 14-4

I honestly do not feel as if I should be the one posting this because I completely disagree with everything Grayling has to say on the topic of Atheism. However, I will do my best to objectively explain his viewpoints and how we as a group agreed or differed with his ideas.

The first point I'd like to make is that Grayling does not like being called an atheist. He states that atheists hold the denial of any gods or supernatural entities of the world. He prefers the term naturalist because to be an atheist, to Grayling, means that there is anything even worth denying the existence of. To this definition, I already tend to not like the dude.
The next point that was interesting that we as a group also found interesting was his idea that if people once believed that fairies were real and now that would be absurd, the same goes for a godlike figure. The fact that he equates any godlike figure in any religion to fairies I find someone amusing, as well as a tad offensive. To that I think Grayling would say "thank you".
Lastly, to sum up this short discussion on Grayling (we all pretty much found fault in his ideas and went on to talk about the supernatural in general and somehow... cats?) he debunks the theory of a perfect being creating the world and human beings because he says we aren't perfect so we must have been made by nature. Why would a god make something with bad design features?
To this I take my leave. This post is open for heavy discussion, I'd love to hear about others' opinions on the subject.
DQ: Do you think Grayling is right in saying that being an atheist means that there is something worth denying, therefore if you do not believe in even the question of a god, you should be a naturalist instead?


  1. I confess that I see the world much as Grayling does, and also prefer "naturalist" (& humanist) when pressed for labels. Nonetheless, I'm also an atheist (non-theist, non-believer in any supernatural universe-maker).

    But unlike Grayling, I do try the God-glasses from time to time... I try to grasp how the world looks to those who wear them all the time, and try to understand how & why so many of my favorite thinkers & writers (the late novelist John Updike comes immediately to mind) have viewed the world theistically.

    And that's why I say I'd love to see Grayling sit down in a corner of our classroom face-to-face with Keith Ward and John Cottingham. He might not learn anything, but we would.

  2. I agree that I would to see him sit down with those mentioned above. I also enjoy discussing different point of view about the world, how it was created, and where we are going. However, I do not enjoy his offensive attitude towards those who ARE in any way religious, because no matter what he believes and whether it may differ from my own beliefs, I have a hard time putting judgements on people

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  5. OK but seriously, those who know me already know I could write a lot about this. I am in the middle between Megan and Dr. Oliver here. I am not exactly what I would call a complete 'naturalist' but I am definitely not a theist in the traditional sense. But here's some topics we discussed on the steps (other than cats):
    The argument against a creator that says we are too flawed to be in God's image is predicated on a rather arrogant assumption that our form as we are today constitutes the "final version" of the human animal. I wonder if any Cro-Magnons thought the same?
    Many of us agreed that belief in God should logically follow with belief in things like vampires and fairies. In fact in previous times belief in those things were just as prevalant as belief in God. They were taken as fact without a shred of actual evidence, just as faith in a deity is today.