Atheism 2.0! Hm.

Yeah I've been "not at it", whatever, happy new year.

An old friend of mine told me  the other day that I don't really know what I want. She was referring to me being on and off of fachehbookka. Granted.
Fortunately later on in our conversation we also were able to conclude that it wasn't a symptom of a larger issue, that is, "really not knowing what I want", rather... an offshoot.. very much like my cartoons addiction, it functions.. though it would be better if it didn't. Actually, I don't know.

Anyway, here's something I do know.. I'm not an atheist.
Though you wouldn't be able to tell if you spent a month with me, toilet calls and all.. I have no formal acknowledgment of the deity routine.....On the outside that is. On the inside, whole different thing.. me and Daddy Universe, God.. we talk, straight up. Well.. I talk.. what's my point..?

I watched a Ted talk today, by a disarmingly eloquent Britt (of Swiss origin) called Alain de Botton.. he was talking about atheism 2.0.. the short of it was.."atheists aren't all particularly good at being great people with admirable morale and character, and if these didn't want to remain in the influence sphere's of Walmart and CNN, they could take a clue from (organized) religion (institutions), because they're on to something". Well he could have said that about religious people just as well.. but allright. For an atheist, he did understand the benefits of religion quite well.. actually, better than I do. A-ha.

Three things struck me about his talk.
Number 1.. like a true atheist he started off by saying, and I quote
"of course there's no god, of course there are no deities or supernatural spirits or angels etc. now let's move on"

He went on, but I didn't.. for a minute I needed to process the bluntness of it. I haven't heard anyone say it quite like that.. I know that mumbling attention whore Dawkins spews all sort of manure over Christian's & co, but I haven't had people say it like they really mean it before. Dawkin's is too self absorbed and intellectually flimsy to be taken seriously.. but this man.. ooof... he went straight for my jingles by being effortlessly indifferent about the effect of those words. Where a chump like Dawkins (I have a score to settle with him) would take his glasses off, pause, bow his head while frowning meaningfully, and then proceed to spew red and yellow confetti vomit in the face of all those transfixed with the drama & spectacle of it all.. this guy put it in front of a point much larger. To him at least.

Brilliant. Though again simply does nothing to me just yet. We cool Daddy.

2nd thing that struck me was the shot just after de Botton jokingly said that, as I quoted earlier, Walmart and CNN guided those in the spiritual wasteland that is Atheism.. I can imagine that those who were favorably inclined to his rhetoric up to that point would be the atheists..and they'd laugh..and surely, some did.. so did I...but I suspected there were some more seriously religious folks attending as well, try to spot a few in the screen shot below (click on image or here for a larger version):

Or are they just atheists who can't take this particular joke..? You make your mind up. My favorite is the blonde woman just above the man with the yellowish/whitish shirt in the middle.. or the one below him for that matter... in fact.. I can only spot two generously laughing people here.. Hm?

Brings me to the third thing that struck me. There WERE seriously religious people in the room..plenty of them as it turns out.. As the master of ceremony took the stage to thank Alain, he also asked a few questions and polled how many people, in whose lives religion played an important part, were present.. My second favorite, and another obvious one (the girl on the far left) raised their hand.. and I'd, conservatively, estimate around a third of the people did. But not my favorite one from above.. . I wonder how many were too scared to admit after such a confident bashing. Either way, what struck me about it is that I assumed from the beginning that there weren't going to be too many of them. Hm. Of course they were going to be there.. I know I would.. I'd want to know what the state of atheism was... according to a TED talker... proper night out..

The point being, it's become increasingly difficult for me to keep in mind I'm not isolated, since I don't take kindly to organized's not how I was brought up, and I have come to value (and understand the benefits of) that attitude quite a while ago...

But consider this day and age.. it took an atheist to point out to me, and this was Alain's central point, that there is something to it.. sharing the habits, customs, and company of those like minded.... it has benefits.

And while I'm too stubborn (or is it obtuse & thematically lethargic)  to do something about it, it was a terribly nice message to witness.