This I believe

I couldn’t have said it better myself:

I believe in love and kindness,

I believe in helping hands

I believe in strong opinions

I believe in taking stands

I believe cooperation

Overcomes the steepest odds

I believe we have a fighting chance

I don’t believe in gods.

Go read the whole thing – it’s beautiful.

Comments

  1. #1 Cuttlefish
    April 13, 2011

    Aw, thanks, man!

    I’m frankly astonished at the attention this thing is getting–I threw it together this morning, literally in the time it took to have a cup of coffee.

  2. #2 Mike Olson
    April 15, 2011

    I’m all for people feeling good about themselves and their beliefs. Therefore, will not make pejorative comments about yours. Asking only that you do the same for me…and frankly, you always have. So, that is cool. Why my comment then? I understand, given where I live, a small town in western Illinois, why an atheist might feel largely persecuted and outcast for their beliefs. If you want a real eye opener, consider this: The “big book,” of AA has a whole chapter “To the Agnostic,” or “To the atheist” which essentially says, you can’t quit drinking and you’ll never recover without believing in “a higher power,” which in short order becomes god. In other words, AA is what nearly every treatment center in the country pushes and at the heart of that system is the belief that addicts and drunks are the way they are because of a lack of faith in God. In my area of the country it becomes about not just being a Christian, but being a born again Christian. Which I see as nutty…to some atheist that sounds strange. But, here is the kicker of all of this: I recently read a stat which indicated that amongst scientists there was a fairly large percentage who had religious beliefs but did not express them socially because they were afraid of being derided by their peers in science. This was reported in Playboy magazine…not a particular friend of religion. Frankly, my greatest sorrow is that I’m not working in a science related field and I personally believe that imposing religion upon someone is a greater issue than imposing atheism on someone. But, I do think it says a lot about humanity in general…

  3. #3 Kevin
    April 15, 2011

    Hi Mike, thanks for the comment. I read the playboy article too (I read it for the naked ladies), and I can understand that that’s a problem. I’ve a good deal of times now in only 2 labs, and my experience is probably atypical, but in the first lab I was in, we were all liberal atheists, and we talked about religion and politics a lot. In my current lab, the boss is catholic, and I’m pretty sure he’s conservative (wife works in the lab and is the same), and politics and religion almost never come up. Two of my four science-grad-student-roommates believe in god, at least in some form.

    My guess would be that the number of atheists that are afraid to express their beliefs in the workplace (generally) is far higher than the number of theists in the sciences in that boat. I’m into the out-atheist campaign because hope that it will have a similar effect as gay people coming out – familiarity increases tolerance. Also, atheist is the only minority that I actually belong to, and everyone needs to feel persecuted about something.

    Frankly, very few atheists are as out-spoken as some of the people on this network, and even folks like P.Z. have mentioned that they don’t tend to make a big deal of it in professional interactions. I have a hard time believing that it’s as big an issue as that article made it out to be.

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