The universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. The story of its creation has been handed down through generations and written down in books.
I wrote the other day about my tension between wanting to respect the beliefs of others, whilst not agreeing with those beliefs and not condoning the actions that arise from those beliefs (although, I'm not sure I explained it so succinctly). Today I came across ReligiousTolerance.org, which has some very well thought out ideas on this.
I've seen a few Christian arguments for (proof of) the resurrection of Jesus. As I've mentioned previously, most of the evidence they use comes from the bible itself. One of the articles on apologetics.com had a very interesting argument that the very existence of Christianity is proof of the resurrection of Jesus. I'll quote the whole section below before I comment on it:
Sounds like religion to me.
George Carlin is awesome!
An atheist lacks belief in a god or gods. That's it. Lack of belief.
Definitionally speaking, someone who believes in at least one theistic deity is a theist. An atheist is someone who lacks belief in any theistic deities.
Imagine someone tells you that there is a magic giant radish in deep space that demands you hop on one foot for 10 minutes every Thursday morning or you will lose one sock out of every load of washing.
The one sin that the Christian God apparently cannot ever forgive is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
There was a very interesting reader comment today on Andrew Sullivan's blog about Atheism & Mystery. My interpretation of the situation is the exact opposite. (Go read the comment now, I'll wait).
Scott Adams is the guy who writes the Dilbert cartoons. He also has a very entertaining (and sometimes thought-provoking) blog and has written some very funny and interesting books (which I'll write about some other time). This is just a random collection of some of his soundbites that I enjoy the most:
“Secularism means food and fireside, roof and raiment, reasonable work and reasonable leisure, the cultivation of the tastes, the acquisition of knowledge, the enjoyment of the arts, and it promises for the human race comfort, independence, intelligence, and above all liberty. It means the abolition of sectarian feuds, of theological hatreds. It means the cultivation of friendship and intellectual hospitality. It means the living for ourselves and each other; for the present instead of the past, for this world rather than for another.”
I have never believed in any gods. The correct term for a lack of belief in gods is atheist, and I've been happy to apply that term to myself for the past two decades. In New Zealand, Australia and most of western Europe, identifying as an atheist is not particularly problematic. Religion is no longer a major force in society and most people are not religious. Religion is generally considered a private matter, and religion or lack of it is not necessarily associated with any set of political or social beliefs.