Archive for April, 2009

Bad News For Brazilian “Ateus”

The Brazilian flag reads “ordem e progresso” – order and progress. Yet, it looks like the land of samba and sugar cane still has plenty of progress left to make.

You may recall a study that came out awhile ago in which it was found that 48% of all Americans would vote against any candidate for any political office who was revealed to be an atheist. Many candidates are smeared to look like atheists, or in some cases, smeared for simply attending an event run by atheists. But compared to Brazil, this is the land of milk and honey for those who don’t believe. According to a similar survey conducted there that I recently uncovered, only 13% of Brazilians would vote for an atheist candidate. And to top it off, the nation’s most recognized landmark is a giant statue of Jesus. Ouch.

However, there is a glimmer of hope. Brazilian nonbelievers have been making their presence felt on the internet and elsewhere in the public sphere. One Brazilian youtube user, aside from confirming the belief that all Brazilian girls are hot, has alot to say about religion and why she is an ateu – an atheist – and she’s even taken the trouble to speak English in all her clips. The best thing atheists and secularists can do, whether in the US, Brazil, or elsewhere, is to increase our visibility. Most people have their public perceptions of atheists shaped by the least atheistic people out there, and by standing up we can show more reasonable people that we aren’t the monsters we’re made out to be. And if the situation improves in Brazil, some countries even worse for atheists than it is might learn by its example.


Bile at BIOLA

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the recent Hitchens-Craig Debate at BIOLA as I was out of town – fortunately, while away I did get to see those dandy Islam bus ads in San Francisco first hand. While a full clip of the debate is not yet forthcoming as far as I can tell, I was able to find a few snippets posted on youtube. It seems the good Dr. Craig is up to his old tricks, trotting out the tired claim that you can’t have “objective meaning” without acknowledging the existence of a god. This may sound nice to apologists and their followers, but I have the feeling that if Craig was pressed on this point, he would end up sounding uncomfortably like Bill Clinton: “It all depends on what your definition of ‘objective’ is”. At the end of the day, apologists throw out the word “objective” a helluva lot, but usually what they mean by “objective” is “having meaning in the eyes of a god”. But wait a minute… wouldn’t that definition ring hollow for someone who doesn’t believe in gods in the first place? Doh!


I’m starting this blog as an outlet for my thoughts on religion, it successes, shortfalls, and how I get along without it. As an atheist and secularist, I often get accused of only believing in “cold logic”, to which I respond, “What’s so cold about it?" Just because I think critically where where religious people don’t doesn’t make me cold, immoral or unfeeling. I’m not anti-religious per se, though I feel some religious practices do get a free ride where they shouldn’t. The main reason I’m an atheist is that I think a life lived on secular priciples is a better way to live. In reading this, you’ll probably see plenty of ideas you’ve heard before, and hopefully a few you haven’t. With any luck, you’ll understand where I’m coming from, and we’ll both be better off.
The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism
(image: happy human)

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