I wanted to ask this for a while.....is it weird to be an atheist and not be into science? I have never really been into science, so that had nothing to do with my becoming an atheist. For me, I just figured out all of the superstition, and silly stuff credited to god and religion were bull.
I guess I just need to meet more atheists, and remember that we are not all alike. We think different things, like different things and are as individual as any other group out there. It just feels to me, sometimes, like scientific minds reach this more quickly or easily. I could be wrong....
I don't think it's weird at all but for many folks, they came to atheism through science and/or have an interest in science due to it's encouragement of skeptical inquiry, culture of truth seeking, and find value in applying the concept of the scientific method to other areas of their lives.
I consider myself as having come to atheism at a very early age, before I even knew there was a term atheism. The religion thing just never jived with me and I found the suggestion that I should believe in an invisible being, too much of a stretch. And this was certainly before I ever had an understanding of science. However in my adulthood, I'm always seeking truth in the world around me. I have an extreme desire to know and or understand why things happen and how things work. So in short, I am certain my atheism was not brought on by an interest in science, and my interest in science was not brough on by my atheism but rather by an inquisitive mind and a genuine interest in understanding this world we live in.
Just an afterthought about my own experience. I was trained in physical sciences as an engineer and have always found cosmology to be utterly fascinating but my first love has always been the soft sciences of sociology, anthropology and history. When I took the leap of reason that was required for me to move to atheism from a religious upbringing, it was not so much the cumulative science background as it was my intuition operating as a philosophic instrument. Yet nothing in me would have changed without mustering the courage to make the final affirmation of non-theism. That can be a scary proposition for someone who grew up surrounded by a strong faith system.
Lary9, I too grew up in a strong faith system, and in a twelfth grade physics class (the last of my 12 years in Catholic schools), I became enthusiastic about science.
After a tour in the Navy I started studying the sciences required for an engineering degree, and was partway toward my goal when a traumatic kickstart (too complicated to describe here) made leaving Catholicism possible.
Leaping into what I saw as a void was scary, but in those science courses I had learned to trust my own thinking. Agnosticism's uncertainty became exciting.
I came to see that Catholicism had put a lot of effort (saying doubt is sinful, etc) into keeping me from trusting myself.
Xianity once defended slavery and it's now unlawful. The stuff that happens in Catholic school is child abuse, and someday it too will be unlawful.
There are many paths to enlightenment, Grasshopper.
I am so glad I posted this. I enjoyed all the responses. and, Ruth, you are right....many paths....that was also part of what headed me away from the faith I was raised in. The "only one way to get to heaven", when there were so many people who thought theirs was that only one....
Anyway, this humble little chef/lunch lady, thanks you all for your responses....
There were atheists in the distant past when science as we know today did not exist. The basic need for being an atheist is ability to think rationally. Sience does help in concretising atheist view and science now provides answers to many questions, it is the best friend of atheists.
Well said, Madhukar.
I find all aspects of science exciting, but I don't have the educational background to understand the details. I just look at the Hubble Telescope images, or electron microscope images, and say, "Wow."
I'm glad there are people in this world who DO understand the details, and are going forward with their researches. (I would still be in excruciating pain if many somebodies hadn't developed MRI scans, and the tools my surgeon used to re-sculpt and patch part of my spine. 20 years of that was enuf!)
I just wanted to remind everybody that we were all atheists when we were first born. It takes years of indoctrination (and sometimes some heavy-duty arguments) to change that. You'd think that if there really were a god who wanted us to grovel and flatter him/her/it 24/7, we would be born knowing that. Eh?
Or at least give us a reason to believe.
I have reached the point where if I'm being harangued about god or Jesus, I just say two words, "Evidence, please." (The buybull is not allowed to be used to "prove" itself.) There isn't any. Not one molecule. And most believers know it, deep down.
All the public piety shows of the past 15 or 20 years seem to be for the benefit of believers trying to convince themselves that they are right.
"we were all atheists when we were first born."
I have heard this before but I tend to disagree. We do not even know anything like god when we are born, so how can we be atheists? We become faithful by training and atheists by rational thought.
If you believe in a god, or gods, you are a theist. If you do not have any kind of belief in any god, you are an a-theist. Period. Infants can't possibly understand theology, so they don't hold beliefs. That makes them atheists. A person who grows up alone on an island, and never hears about gods, is an atheist. Unless she, or he, invents their own god(s) out of lonliness.
You don't have to reject something you've been taught to be an atheist. You just hang on to your natural tendency to disbelieve.