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Interview with an atheist

In Abbotsford I often hear Christians vilifying atheists and vice versa. Whenever a member of one group blames all of the world’s problems on the other, I wonder if that person has ever had the opportunity for a good discussion with a member of the opposing team. Luckily, I know a lot of atheists and Christians, so I can see both sides of the argument – but in the interest of informing our readers, I took the time to talk to an atheist and learn what she had to say about the value of belief.

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By Jed Minor (Editor-in-Chief) – Email

In Abbotsford I often hear Christians vilifying atheists and vice versa. Whenever a member of one group blames all of the world’s problems on the other, I wonder if that person has ever had the opportunity for a good discussion with a member of the opposing team. Luckily, I know a lot of atheists and Christians, so I can see both sides of the argument – but in the interest of informing our readers, I took the time to talk to an atheist and learn what she had to say about the value of belief.

Why do atheists hate God/happiness?

I’m missing the part of my brain that allows me to believe in monsters, fairy tales, and religion. I hate God because I simply lack the capacity to believe. It’s a deficiency all atheists have; it feels like we have been left out of an exclusive club. I am doomed to search for happiness within reality. That’s very difficult. I don’t hate happiness; it’s just that religious people hit the nail on the head when they assume there’s nothing joyful about a Godless world. There’s nothing to look forward to – aside from glimpses of happiness when we offend or intellectually dominate religious people (which tends to happen a lot).

If you don’t believe in God, what point is there to life?

Richard Dawkins talks about the enormous odds stacked against the potential existence of each consciousness, and how – knowing these odds – one should feel the utmost privilege and amazement at the opportunity to observe the universe and natural world – and how we should relish in learning as much as we can and just appreciate the almost unfathomable complexity that has led to our brief existence. Dawkins stated it much more eloquently. I would agree with him, but there are only so many times I can look at a mountain or through a microscope and feel awe. It gets boring. So I guess there is no point to life.

In the absence of an absolute morality you can pretty much do whatever you want; how fun is that?

I said I was missing the part of my brain making me capable of believing in fantasy. I didn’t say I was missing the part of my brain making me capable of fearing punishment and authority. Religious wackos fear the wrath of God, and I fear corrupt police forces and the justice system. It totally sucks, because it takes all the fun out of being devoid of morality.

Do you think that atheists will eventually organize and choose a supreme leader?

Nah, I think we’re too miserable and self-centred to revere a leader. If we did set up some kind of organization, it might resemble Stephen Harper’s minority government. Everyone would want to be supreme leader. There’d be lots of yelling, swearing, and immature name-calling, just like in parliament.

Follow-up question: will that leader live in an official building and wear a funny hat?…Sure, why not.

Do you think that atheists are looked upon as good people?

Do you think we’d care?

As an atheist, who are your role models?

What’s a role model?

What are the hot new atheist fashions?

Actually, our flippant and always-mocking attitude is very in style right now. All the hipsters are doing it. I got some skinny jeans and no longer feel as though I’m part of a minority (of rational-thinking atheists, versus the obvious Christians going around smiling at strangers and holding doors open for people like a bunch of suckers).

Hitchens or Dawkins?

Ahh, that’s a tough one. I like that Hitchens is always smoking and drinking scotch – I think religious people find him more offensive and morally repugnant. But his chances of cancer survival are slim, and I’ve always loved Dawkins’ air of snobbish superiority.

How do you believe being an atheist benefits your life? And where do you go from here?

The main benefit is the smug satisfaction of knowing I’m right, without having the burden of proof weighing on me. But it also sucks, because religious people are invariably unable to understand why the burden of proof lies with them. It’s like getting into a logic argument with a two-year-old. You know you’ve won before either person starts to speak, but the two year old hasn’t got a clue. From here, I go to a dirt and worm-filled pit for all of eternity.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Michael

    February 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I’m a non-believer and would probably identify philosophically with most Christians more than I would with this person. Sounds more like someone with a personality disorder than rational atheism.

    I’m surprised The Cascade would publish this offensive silliness.

  2. Dave

    November 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    This is obviously a fake interview or an interview with someone using every anti-atheist stereotype in the book to try to make us look bad. Whatever integrity you ever may have had as a writer is now gone and I hope that if you ever get hired as a writer in the future, that this travesty comes back to haunt you.

  3. Jim Craig

    November 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    This isn’t an actual interview; that much is clear. This is a straw man parody designed to help our author, Jed, feel like he has accomplished something. Frankly, I doubt that Jed could conduct a real interview with an actual atheist because the questions he has posed to his straw man are pointless nonsense.

    How about a real interview with meaningful questions?

    This atheists will answer your silly questions.

    Why do atheists hate God/happiness? To the first, I can’t speak for all atheists but I don’t hate God any more than I hate Capt. Hook, Voldemort or Professor Moriarty. He’s a character in a book and hasn’t been shown to exist. As far as happiness, nobody hates happiness. Religious folks, however, don’t seem too fond of happiness when others have it.

    If you don’t believe in God, what point is there to life?
    Life is whatever you make of it, nothing more and nothing less. In my life, it’s to leave things better than I found them. All the good or ill I will ever bring about will occur in this life so I had better make it as good as I can. I counter by asking if this life is only a dress rehearsal for what comes next, what’s the point of it?

    In the absence of an absolute morality you can pretty much do whatever you want; how fun is that?
    First, absolute morality is an illusion. What’s moral in one society (such as polygamy) may be immoral in another. Female infanticide, which modern Western society finds utterly repugnant, is practiced as a form of post partum birth control among the Yanomami. I don’t need the threat of hell or the promise of heaven to treat other in a decent, equitable manner.

    Can you handle more?

  4. Leslie

    November 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I think somebody should put a note on here that this is satire, since I don’t think everyone is picking up on it.

    And Jim, clearly UFV can’t handle more satire. :)

  5. Rob

    November 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    As an atheist I found this article to be right on point. I too have never heard of a “role model” and lack the ability to look it up. I am quite stupid, as well as any other deprecating adjective you can come up with. I love you.

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