Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Atheist meme

I came across this meme about atheism which originally came from Friendly Atheist:

  1. Participated in the Blasphemy Challenge. I don't even know what that is.
  2. Met at least one of the “Four Horsemen” (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) in person. No. Don't particularly want to either.
  3. Created an atheist blog. It's a blog and I'm an atheist. Occasionally I write about atheism/religion.
  4. Used the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a religious debate with someone. No. I don't do much debating these days, but probably would if it seemed á propos.
  5. Gotten offended when someone called you an agnostic. No, it's not something someone is likely to call me... and I wouldn't be offended. It's remarkably unlikely to come up as a subject, day to day.
  6. Been unable to watch Growing Pains reruns because of Kirk Cameron. I don't know the show or the person.
  7. Own more Bibles than most Christians you know. I dunno, we have three or four floating about - a couple of kids' ones and my confirmation one, for sure... I've never compared amounts of Bibles with anyone, so wouldn't know! Haha. It strikes me as rather amusing that.
  8. Have at least one Bible with your personal annotations regarding contradictions, disturbing parts, etc. No! Do I not have better things to do? And I never annotate books anyhow, not since college. I find it ruins perfectly good books.
  9. Have come out as an atheist to your family. I'd argue about 'coming out' as such, it's no big deal in the UK. Maybe it's a biggie in the US and elsewhere, but here, nah. Some friends/family know, some don't, depends whether subject has ever come up.
  10. Attended a campus or off-campus atheist gathering. No. Not sure what the point would be. "We don't believe in god(s), hurrah, let's go home, bye."
  11. Are a member of an organized atheist/Humanist/etc. organization. . No
  12. Had a Humanist wedding ceremony. No. Had registry office wedding.
  13. Donated money to an atheist organization. No. I do donate money to causes I believe in, humanitarian projects etc. I do choose secular ones rather than those that have a religious agenda.
  14. Have a bookshelf dedicated solely to Richard Dawkins. No! Haha. I have a couple of his books, but he's not my hero. Hehehehe... I think this meme is rather giving weight to a lot of the accusations levelled at atheists. Which isn't quite as funny after all.
  15. Lost the friendship of someone you know because of your non-theism. No. I did have to stop arguing religion with a friend cos it was peeing us both off, and no bad thing.
  16. Tried to argue or have a discussion with someone who stopped you on the street to proselytize. No, there's no point. I am tempted to be rude to Stress-Test people (Scientologists) and people who shout about hell and that on the streets, but I resist.
  17. Had to hide your atheist beliefs on a first date because you didn’t want to scare him/her away. No. Wouldn't dream of it. Why would you? If it's going to be that massive a deal to the person you're dating, it's best to be open about it from the start. I wouldn't be prepared to fake it forever, nor for five minutes. It is what it is. I need the person I love to accept me as I accept him.
  18. Own a stockpile of atheist paraphernalia (bumper stickers, buttons, shirts, etc). No! Haha.
  19. Attended a protest that involved religion. No.
  20. Attended an atheist conference. No.
  21. Subscribe to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel. Who? No.
  22. Started an atheist group in your area or school. Why now?
  23. Successfully “de-converted” someone to atheism. No. Why would I want to, even if I could?
  24. Have already made plans to donate your body to science after you die. Haha. This is atheist, how? I'm an organ donor and I guess I might consider donating my body to science. Never really occurred to me as an option before.
  25. Told someone you’re an atheist only because you wanted to see the person’s reaction. No, I'm not 13 anymore.
  26. Had to think twice before screaming “Oh God!” during sex. Or you said something else in its place. Haha. I find "blasphemies" most useful as ejaculations (of the verbal kind, haha)... Why would you think twice as an atheist? Surely as a theist you're supposed to think twice about using names in vain and all that? It's just useful words to me. The only time I try to stop "blaspheming" is when I'm around someone religious that I'm worried I may irritate or offend unnecessarily, which ain't likely to be someone I'm shagging, begging your pardon, cos my bloke is an atheist too. Not that it is something I'm likely to say during sex anyway. I won't go into what I am likely to say, as this isn't that sort of blog...
  27. Lost a job because of your atheism. No. Surely that must/ought to be illegal?
  28. Formed a bond with someone specifically because of your mutual atheism (meeting this person at a local gathering or conference doesn’t count). I got chatting to a few people at an atheist forum and a book forum where the initial "us vs them" debate frontlines were the spark, but to endure beyond that, there has to be more common ground than atheism.
  29. Have crossed “In God We Trust” off of — or put a pro-church-state-separation stamp on — dollar bills. No, I'm not sure I've ever even touched a dollar bill, much less had opportunity to molest one... I drew a moustache on the Queen on a stamp once, if that helps.
  30. Refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I wouldn't recite it, but I'm not American so it's not exactly relevant.
  31. Said “Gesundheit!” (or nothing at all) after someone sneezed because you didn’t want to say “Bless you!” I say "bless you" and "gesundheit" or sometimes, horrifiedly, "I'll get you a tissue"; the former don't bother me. Why should it?
  32. Have ever chosen not to clasp your hands together out of fear someone might think you’re praying. Why would they think I was praying and why would I care if they did?
  33. Have turned on Christian TV because you needed something entertaining to watch. No. If I wish to be entertained I watch something amusing like repeats of QI.
  34. Are a 2nd or 3rd (or more) generation atheist. No. Eh?
  35. Have “atheism” listed on your Facebook or dating profile — and not a euphemistic variant. Yes. Had to change it from capitalised Atheist to atheist, as the capitalised version did bug me. I identify myself as an atheist in the hopes that people will know what to expect and therefore only have themselves to blame, haha, if they read my comments about particular books or groups when it comes up on their feed.
  36. Attended an atheist’s funeral (i.e. a non-religious service). I don't know any dead atheists. Should I perhaps murder a few in order to attend their non-religious funerals to make me a better atheist?
  37. Subscribe to an freethought magazine (e.g. Free Inquiry, Skeptic) No. I read some sceptical online things, blogs and magazines occcasionally when in the mood. I'm not made of money, you know.
  38. Have been interviewed by a reporter because of your atheism. No.
  39. Written a letter-to-the-editor about an issue related to your non-belief in God. No.
  40. Gave a friend or acquaintance a New Atheist book as a gift. I don't really subscribe to the title of New Atheist, whatever it's supposed to mean... I do lend books in the context to talking about religion/atheism, but I'm far more likely to suggest a book and they can look for it themselves if they really want to. I don't see it as a positive or worthwhile thing to try to persuade anyone in or out of beliefs generally and would only buy someone a book as a gift, when they had said they wanted it.
  41. Wear pro-atheist clothing in public. No! Haha.
  42. Have invited Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses into your house specifically because you wanted to argue with them. No. I don't want to argue with them cos I find religious debating ultimately goes round & round in circles and it gets pretty darn annoying. I partake occasionally, but it's too well-worn, I get bored of retreading the same old ground very quickly nowadays... JWs tend to be very pleasant on the doorstep and while I'd prefer they didn't interrupt my day, I understand that they mean well. I worry about them getting people being horribly rude to them and possibly abusive, especially when they bring children with them, and think they don't deserve that sort of thing. There's no need. You can be polite and they'll just go, in my experience.
  43. Have been physically threatened (or beaten up) because you didn’t believe in God. No. Crikey, is it that bad in the US?
  44. Receive Google Alerts on “atheism” (or variants). No.
  45. Received fewer Christmas presents than expected because people assumed you didn’t celebrate it. No. Haha.
  46. Visited The Creation Museum or saw Ben Stein’s Expelled just so you could keep tabs on the “enemy.” No. Religious people aren't the enemy, although I'm opposed to creationism or ID being taught in science classes at school. Cos it ain't science. In RE, fine.
  47. Refuse to tell anyone what your “sign” is… because it doesn’t matter at all. And this is about atheism how? Surely this is scepticism? ... I don't believe in astrology, but if someone asked me my sign, I'd tell them. Why not? I'm not such a contentious person, why do you think I have to be out to argue with everyone all the time?
  48. Are on a mailing list for a Christian organization just so you can see what they’re up to… No! Haha. I accidentally got onto a Scientology mailing list after I bought a Dianetics book on Ebay to try to read about it after Tom Cruise was so excitable on Oprah's sofa, but they went away after I asked them nicely. Or at least for the most part they stopped. I get the occasional email.
  49. Have kept your eyes open while you watched others around you pray. Yes. I've been in churches... It's not to make a point though, it's mostly that I forget the rituals and I'm not fond of acting.
  50. Avoid even Unitarian churches because they’re too close to religion for you. I don't really know much about Unitarian churches, but I wouldn't choose to attend such a thing, I don't suppose. I have pubs and cinemas and other places to meet people socially.


Anonymous said...

Haha, lots of "no's" - are you sure you're an atheist? :) Only joking. The paranoia on there, I've seen a lot of that when debating religion on the IMDb. It seems atheists in the US consider themselves hugely persecuted.... I can't tell cos I don't live there, whether they're being overblown about it to prove a point or if there really is genuine hardship through being an atheist. Hard to respond when you're both writing in English but from completely different cultures and societies (ie British vs United States of Armadillo).

LOL @ the one about "have you been to an atheist's funeral" - I don't think you should murder atheists to prove you're a good atheist, you'll only end up in jail for a point of questionable veracity.

Abster x

Mephitis said...

Yeah, it seems I'm barely an atheist at all! :D

Twas a most American meme. I'm curious about just how big a problem it might be over there. I daresay mileage varies. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, the fact that I can debate online but never really understand their society short of going and living in it, is a big reason why I tired of debating online. Because I don't know if it's at all reasonable to say "Quit your whining!" cos maybe they have been beaten up in high school for atheism, maybe they have lost jobs and girlfriends and social standing over it, what am I to know??? Also, people who seem that angry tend to come online and treat anyone who stands up for Christianity as their own personal punchbag and that's so boring, being on the receiving end of someone else's shopsoiled prejudice and hatred. So dull. And maybe they're right to feel that way and maybe they're not but I know that *I* personally never strangled their parrot. :)

Abster x

Anonymous said...

The English not-bothered relationship to religion can be easily summed up by quoting Eddie Izzards sketch on the CofE,

"cake or death?"


Im a non practicing English atheist, I believe in it but it doesnt consume any of my energy or time. Its just second nature, it never occurred to me to be any other way, Ive never been tempted. I get freaked driving through the moors at night though - werewolves, you never know..

(came from the f word, cheers :))