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Atheist And Non-Academic

May 13, 2014

I constantly find myself amazed and mesmerised by science programmes on TV even though I never fully understand what is presented. I likewise enjoy listening to classical music but could not distinguish between Mozart and Beethoven. When it comes to art I have no appreciation for abstract and a lot of modern art (unmade beds for example). Yet I love the Old Masters and even much surreal imaginative work.

The point here is that I come from a non-academic family and I left school aged 16 with a handful of Scottish Ordinary Grades but I wish I knew more stuff!! The sort of stuff that trips off the tongues of my heroes, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry, Christopher Hitchens and many others. I would have loved to have a blether with Hitchens before he left us but I would have been lost for words. Which brings me to my atheism.

I have not believed in god since my teens for a number of very logical (they seem to me) reasons and welcome the fabulous additions to those penned by Dawkins etc. The trouble is I now want to attend atheist debates and meetings as held by Humanist Scotland Society, Skeptics In The Pub etc but feel I’d be bamboozled by the language used, the concepts discussed and I’d feel marginalised by the shared academic backgrounds held by most of the others there. I may be wrong, but I strongly believe I am not the only atheist to feel this way.

I think it is time for the atheist movement to reach out to ordinary less well educated people who have come to their conclusions about the lack of any god, not through academic research, scrutiny of the bible until they could quote relevant passages or philosophical analysis but because it just seems right, logical and true.

After all, most religions are based on nonsense but it is nonsense wrapped up in flowery yet easily understandable language. Unless atheism explains the reasons for non-belief in a more accessible way then it will continue to preach to the converted!

Dawkins’ “Magic Of Reality” is the best example of accessibility I have read but unfortunately it is overtly aimed at children and probably children with well educated parents who are already atheists. We need a similar style book, an “Atheism For Dummies” if you will (although that title might just reinforce the us and them feeling), which can get the non-academics discussing the subject with each other.

I sincerely hope that someone cleverer than I might take up the challenge to begin a debate on this matter or even publish a “Dummies Guide”.

I apologise for any grammatical errors in this post which serve to confirm my non-academic status.

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