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Stigma

March 31, 2007

six percent [of Americans] said they don’t believe in a God at all. Just 3 percent of the public self-identifies as atheist, suggesting that the term may carry some stigma.

Newsweek

“Some stigma”? Ya think?

Frankly, it really worries me that Americans are so religious. Is there any stigma involved in utterly rejecting the most fundamental principles of biology? Or in believing in supernatural beings? I suppose in some circles there is, but mostly these folks aren’t stigmatized – they constitute a majority and they’re running our whole country and determining the fate of the entire world.

In case you missed it, I’m a atheist. (Stigma be damned.) I don’t believe in anything supernatural. In spite of this I am a very normal patriotic American who doesn’t kick puppies or hate rainbows, and who finds his life quite meaningful, thank you very much.

If Bob Dole can be the face of erectile dysfunction, I’ll stand up to be the face of American atheism.

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No comments yet

  1. Yes, Scott, but Bob Dole took a drug for his problem. What will you do for yours? 🙂


  2. Damn. I walked right into that one, didn’t I? 🙂


  3. As your personal physician, I recommend heavy doses of Bertrand Russell’s teapot, some incense, and jinnan tonyx.


  4. If there’s a face of American Atheism, it’s probably the face of Sam Harris, indisputably The Voice of American Atheism. His “Atheist Manifesto” is a beautiful thumbnail of Atheist thought; his little book “Letter to a Christian Nation” is short enough to be re-read quickly before sallying forth against those who present peanut butter as proof, inexpensive enough to be the perfect remembrance for a graduate or a unforgettable hostess gift or a stocking stuffer. But for yuks, go to the Huffington blog today (4/1) and read Cenk Urguy’s take on Islamic U. N. Resolutions and anatomically correct chocolate Jesuses.


  5. Oh, I know Sam Harris! I read his recent book, The End of Faith. In some instances he is a little too strident for me, as when he starts equating torture with collateral deaths in war. But mostly, he’s terrific.

    Neat blog entry over at Huffington. Here’s the link to it if anyone’s interested.


  6. I was an atheist for 10 years. I won’t go into what changed my mind – as the most profound lesson I learned from that time is that nobody is going to “convince” you one way or the other about the supernatural.

    But I agree about the overall problematic influence of religion on politics. But bear in mind that there are very distinct and important differences between “religion” and deism/theism/belief in the supernatural.


  7. Are there? You mean like how I could theoretically be a Zen Buddhist and an atheist, too?



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