Interesting view on reffering to yourself as "Atheist."

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Interesting view on reffering to yourself as "Atheist."

Political dissident, linguist, and scholar Noam Chomsky was asked if he believed in god, here is his response.:

"Do I believe in God? Can't answer, I'm afraid. I'm not being flippant, but I don't understand the question. What is it that I am supposed to believe or not believe in? Are you asking whether I believe there is something not in the universe (or the universes, if there are (maybe infinitely) many of them), and that somehow stands above them? I've never heard of any reason for believing that. Something else? What? There are many concepts of spirituality, among them, various notions of divinity developed in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religions. Within these the concepts vary greatly. St. Augustine and others, for example, argued that one should not take seriously the Biblical account of God as an exaggerated human, and other Biblical accounts, because they were crafted so as to make the intended message intelligible to humans -- and on such grounds, he argued, organized religion ought to accept persuasive conclusions of science, a conception that Galileo appealed to (in vain) when he faced Papal censure.

Anyway, without clarification of a kind I have never seen, I don't know whether I believe or don't believe in whatever a questioner has in mind."


I found that to be an interesting response, because it is true that most theists have no "consensus reality" explanation for what exactly god is. I've read enough of his work and his lectures to know he doesn't follow any religion and is probably an atheist to the majority of definitions of god. In another interview he responded by saying, "but my position is that we should not succumb to irrational belief." Sometimes because I am trying not to seem like an asshole I don't tell people I am necessarily atheist, I will say I am a free thinker, or I prefer science. This usually allows the conversation to move on for another few minutes before I drop the "A bomb" and try to explain to them they are atheist to thor, loki, etc etc. I think it was Sam Harris who said he thought the term atheist and bright where not necessary and made things worse, he sais something like "we should just call bullshit when we see it." Anyway maybe God is actually a giant self aware computer that made the universe and this is all an illusion?!?! Hmmm, probably not, lol. What do you guys think? 




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Interesting to Read

I enjoyed reading Chomsky's response. However, it does seem totally flippant. When someone asks me about a belief in god, without knowing anything about them, I know what they mean. I may not know the exact God (I don't like to capitalize it)  they are talking about, but I do know that they are speaking of a superhuman being or spirit (kudos to Webster for helping me out on that one).  It's flippant, but interested me nonetheless.


I also don't think it's fair (I'm all about fair LOL) to say that someone is an atheist if they don't beleive in Allah. The concept of god is like the concept of coke. When someone says gimme a coke, they don't necessarily mean coke. They mean a carbonated cola drink unless otherwise noted or elaborated upon. I for one, like Coke with a capital C and it must be of the diet variety. However, when I ask for a Diet Coke and they say we have Diet Pepsi, that means they think that  mean Diet Coke and not diet cola. I like that when it comes to soda since I so particular about that kind of stuff. However, when it comes to the question of believing in god, whether your talking about god or God, for me, I don't need elaboration. The answer is NO.  Saying, I am an atheist REALLY gets your point across. Saying you believe in science .... well, unless the other person really understands what that means, it might be lost. So, the answer depends on with whom your speaking. 

god -- I tried you on for size.... you were a little long in the crotch, loose in the waist, short in the length and you made my butt look extra flat. I had to take you back for an exchange.