Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Emotional Atheist

“I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.”
– Isaac Asimov, Free Inquiry 2(2):9, 1982.

Asimov was a great short story author and novelist; but apparently not a brilliant philosopher. If I was going to make a deduction of such earth-shattering importance, I believe I'd base it on more than the whims of emotion. Put simply, if there is no God, one has nothing to worry about. But if there is--as I believe--I sure wouldn't want to stand in front of Him, some day, and admit: "Well, disbelieving in Your existence was so emotionally satisfying."

I don't think that'll cut it.

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