Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Beliefs

Vjack at Athiest Revolution just came up with a great idea, and I'm extremely jealous I did not think of it earlier. On his post "What Do You Believe?" Vjack correctly points out that, unlike religion, atheism has no distinct set of beliefs apart from our views on the nonexistence of gods:

As we consider this question, one critical disclaimer must be offered at the outset. Because atheism has no doctrine, set of core values, or even shared vision of the world, no honest atheist will have much to say about how his/her fellow atheists think. Since atheism implies nothing besides a lack of theistic belief, one must expect tremendous diversity among atheists. I have met atheists who believe in ghosts and others who do not. All they necessarily share is that they do not believe in gods. This may be difficult for some Christians to grasp because they do have at least some shared doctrine.

Those of us who think it is important to provide believers with an alternative worldview are going to need to offer something beyond atheism.

To do my part, I am going to use this post as a springboard to periodically address what I do believe in and the values which inform my worldview.

I think this is a great idea. Like Vjack, I will also start posting my beliefs on life, the universe, and everything from time to time. Eventually, I hope it will provide a reasonably comprehensive belief system of at least one atheist. Of course, my beliefs could certainly change over time. That's the great part of being an atheist. Without religious dogma, we're free to reevaluate the world and our place in it as we encounter new ideas. You'll be able to access all my posts on the topic from the link on the right sidebar.


Louie said...

Hey there. I don't do beliefs. Everything is pointless after all. But I do have hopes for the future - like an end to theism - which might make me somewhat deluded, I guess. :)

Lord J-Bar said...

Whether you acknowledge them or not, you certainly have beliefs about the world around you. For example, I'm sure you have certain beliefs about how to treat others. However, unlike religious beliefs, this can adapt and change as your knowledge grows. Beliefs are just a way for us to try and understand the world and our place in it.

However, I like to explore how I view the world with hope that I can always improve my understandings.

vjack said...

Sounds good. If nothing else, I figure that this exercise will help us clarify our own beliefs for ourselves. Atheism is a start, but I know I'm going to end up going way beyond it by the time I through.

Hellbound Alleee said...

I think it's really important that, when talking about beliefs, that one speaks for oneself. For instance, I don't think people should accuse others of having beliefs ("you certainly do have beliefs"), even if that is your belief. Or opinion. I probably have beliefs myself, but I make every effort not to. I try to deal only with risks, calculated risks, and educated guesses.

I don't think we need to believe things, specifically dumb things like whether the sun will rise or whether a chair will support us. Or even big things like "love." No need to believe when we can perceive, or use our brains to figure things out. It's also best to be educated about probablities--that pretty much wipes out most things that a lot of people think they have to believe in.

I like to avoid saying I "believe" in things as much as possible--it just confuses others.