I'm on my way to my parents house. I haven't seen my brother in two years and he just arrived at their house with his family. No one told me they were coming to Colorado. Maybe its best, had I known I would have taken time off work to spend with them, but I'm not sure that is what they would have wanted.
My family holds me at arms length, the crazy uncle that they think is trying to "spread" atheism. The funny thing is my brother is a rather intelligent man and not as prone to propagandist thought as other may be. That being said, he considers himself a deist or sort of agnostic. I know he hadn't done much research about religion. He hasn't read the bible or anything from a non theist author about religion and it's significance in the world. I never considered agnosticism very honest. I mean, there is holding judgment and there is agnosticism. Agnosticism is self defeating and (in this authors' opinion) a bit cowardly. It sounds good to say you can't make a decision on the existence of god because there is no evidence either way, but how many other ideologies, gods and beliefs does he dismiss readily as being absurd without evidence either way.
How do you feel about Krishna, Zeus, unicorns, merlin, Ice giants and Formorians?
Its great to say you have no evidence either way, but anyone can philosophically justify not make a decision on any subject one way or another. (Why do anything, we might be plugged into the matrix!)
I make assertions about reality. I believe that my senses are fairly accurate being that I can corroborate how my senses work with others of my species that testify to how their senses function and the experiences are not so remarkable the same. Vision, scent, touch, hearing all seem to pick up and translate interactions with the environment the same as others. I also make predictions based on experience that allow me to function. So while the atoms in the floor may spontaneously lose all charge and give way to my foot and hence causing me to fall through it, my experience is that it would only happen if the floor were of some unstable structure. Were I to live the agnostic lifestyle, I would not be able to trust the floor until I tested it each time. I would have no evidence that the floor is stable since each step would yield a new section of floor. Even had I stepped on the floor once before, I would have no evidence that two steps wouldn't compromise its molecular structure, or three or four. Agnosticism is self defeating, how do you know that you can't believe anything without one hundred percent evidence if you have no evidence that agnosticism is true?
My family questions my philosophy continually. Pascal's wager, irreducible complexity, and cosmic punishment have all been brought into play to question why I believe why I do. In those arguments once refuted, I pose equal questions of credibility to their beliefs. Then, of course, I am "attacking" them and the family is upset that I dared be so rude and fanatical in my atheism as to question their god and their beliefs. I relish talking about these ideas when they come up, I love putting my beliefs under a microscope. I smile and enjoy the rhetorical process especially with y beliefs.
What belief is worth having if it can't withstand criticism? When there is no answer, there is offence.
I'm leaving to go to my parents house. I will be treated to prayer, Bill O'Reilly and a slew of random political statements with little or no credibility. If I even begin to refute anything directed at me, I will be a troublemaker. So, here's to family. Here's to another day of impossible circumstances.