What It’s Like To Be An Atheist

Smoke had a great line last night on what it’s like being in a world where not only is religion dominant but where even most of the secularists (in Smoke’s specific case, this means his secular wife) cling to vague “spiritual” notions:

I feel like Jimmy Stewart’s character in Harvey, in reverse; everyone but me sees the giant rabbit.  

He then quoted Sam Harris getting the issue we face exactly right:

“Reason is bigger than atheism.  We have a problem of good ideas versus bad ideas.  The real double standard we suffer from is religious bad ideas can’t be criticized with any energy.”

I connect differently with each of the so-called “New Atheists’s” emphases, but it’s Harris whose book articulated what I had been saying for 5 years prior—that what it comes down to is what is justifiable to believe and what sorts of beliefs deserve intellectual respect and which sorts simply do not.  Just a couple weeks ago he made the case excellently as always:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4erANdR9Yw&hl=en_US&fs=1&

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