Maybe the timing was coincidence, but there before my eyes was, A Brief History Of Disbelief, a show I had caught the last five minutes of just a couple of days ago. Considering all that I had already been pondering this week, it was like a nudge to my mind. The film is an exploration of the evolution of atheistic thought and development narrated by Jonathan Miller. It's fascinating.
I couldn't possibly post about all of the thoughts I had concerning Jonathan Miller's commentary--there were just too many.
Here's a brief rundown of things that I want to address in more thought-out posts:
- Is atheism the exclusive domain of "intellectually superior" white men? The most important thinkers quoted in the series were exclusively well-off, white, European men. Not much for the diversity of thought--this is only a minor thought that I had regarding the development of atheism.
- The assumed facts that are a starting point for atheism. There was a very interesting quote by Richard Dawkins, regarding natural selection and genetic mutations that really sent me over the edge, not for its outrageousness, but for its sheer illogicity from a supposed rational thinker.
- The place of intelligence, consciousness, and purpose in atheistic thinking. Despite all the "scientific" spin on atheism, this is really the heart of what most people must confront before embracing this philosophy.
- The role of evil and suffering in the world. Of course, volumes could be written on this subject alone. However, Miller made a claim that disbelief is so embraced today because of the relative comfort that science has given us. We are more in control of our lives than before, and therefore do not need any gods to alleviate our suffering.
- The focus of atheism aimed against Christianity as opposed to other belief systems. Atheism's venom is almost always aimed solely at Christianity.
There's a lot more swirling in my head, but it will take more time and research than I usually put into a blog post. So, I think that I will post sporadically on this subject as I cobble together the main point I'd like to make in a more refined way.